Hadchit, Bcharreh district
Located in the Qozhaya Valley in Zgharta up north, the first church of Saints Sarkis and Bakhos, was built in the mid-8th Century A.D. on the ruins of a Canaanite temple. Due to commanding the valley at a high altitude, it is often also called “The Watchful Eye of Qadisha”. Several buildings were added from 1404 till 1690, when Patriarch Estephan El Douaihy, a famous Maronite figure and historian, restored part of the buildings. In 1739, the Monastery was given to the Antonin Maronite Order who extended and improved its buildings and properties since then. In 1854, this Order founded the Monastery of Mar Sarkis, Zgharta in order to allow the monks of Mar Sarkis to spend winter times away from the rigorous climate of the mountain. The monastery today receives different Christian groups and movements for retreats, and it spreads its spiritual ways in local religious communities and parishes.