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Al Chehabi Castle - Hasbaya Citadel

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Hasbaya, Hasbaya district

Located in the south, Hasbaya, the capital of Wadi Al-Taymi, is an attractive town full of history. A good deal of this history transpired at the huge citadel that is today Hasbaya’s chief claim to fame. Owned by the Chehab emirs, the citadel forms the major part of a Chehabi compound, which is a group of buildings surrounding an unpaved central square. Several medieval houses and a mosque make up the rest of the compound. The citadel is situated on a hill overlooking the river. The known history of the structure begins with the Crusaders, but it may go back even earlier to an Arab fortification or a Roman building. Won by the Chehabs from the Crusaders in 1172, the fortress was rebuilt by its new owners. Since then it has been burned many times in battle and was often the scene of bloody conflict. In the 20th century, it was struck by rockets during the Israeli occupation of south Lebanon. For almost all of the eight centuries since it fell to the Chehabs, the citadel has been occupied by members of the same family.