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Hanging out

Jeita Grottos

Lebanon Travel Guide - August 25, 2012, 18h10

Visiting the mythical Jeita caves is a pleasure, for people are delighted to know more about this country’s geology and observe the great natural sculptures that decorate those subterranean sites. As for children, they can also have fun in cable cars, boats, and little trains while moving from a place to another.

Considered once one of the most visited sites, Jeita Grottos, located 20 km from Beirut, in the valley of Nahr El Kalb - Kessrouan, were made open to the public after complete restoration. These natural master pieces were discovered in 1836 by an American national called Thompson. They were then systematically explored for the first time in 1873, then in 1902, 1927 and in the fifties. These grottos are impressive by the diversity of their forms, the importance and the number of stalactites and stalagmites they comprise, which were given imaginary original names inspired by the explorers.

These caverns are accessible by panoramic cable cars while some parts of them can be visited by a small boat. The grottos are composed of lower and upper galleries.

Galleries

Lower galleries: A small boat is needed to visit this part that covers around 600 meters out of 6910 meters currently discovered by Lebanese speleologists.

Upper galleries: Formed millions of years ago before the lower galleries part, these dry galleries show the early conditions of the Jeita site, before the move of the underground river to its current location, due to geologic factors. A 120-meter long tunnel allows visitors to discover phantasmagorical sceneries with vaults, stalagmite pillars, various size columns as well as draperies and various crystalline concretions.

Jeita Grottos remain until today the scene of a picturesque spectacle combining both charming sound and light and have received on several occasions unforgettable concerts.

Tags
#Grotto, #NaturalSite
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