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Our Lady of Nourieh Monastery

  • religious site

Hamat, Batroun district

At the top of the historic Deir El Nourieh cliffs of Ras Chekka in North Lebanon, historically known as Cape Theoprosopon, the 17th century monastery of Saydet El Nourieh, Our Lady of Nourieh, stands amidst the charming orchards and gardens of the village behind it. The scenery here is breathtaking. The monastery’s structure is cloistered around an interior courtyard, and the church is laid out on a basilica plan. Steep staircases lead down the cliff sides from the monastery to a small church built in a cave carved out of the cliff, exposed to the wind and sea. A number of old hermitages are also found on the scenic footpaths leading down. There is a wetlands refuge, as well, which is listed under the Ramsar Convention, which is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands. Submarine freshwater springs off the coast of Ras Chekka are thought to enhance the biodiversity of the waters, making the Deir El Nourieh cliffs and promontory a significant stopping point for migratory birds, which includes notable species such as the White Pelican and Purple Heron.