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Feel the pungency!
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Having noticed that very few photos from Zahle were available on the net, apart from general views and a few particular locations, I decided to open this thread about my hometown. I went around Zahle over the course of several months, taking pictures of interesting buildings, fountains and anything that would give the viewer a clear idea of its picturesque town scape. All photos are taken from my panoramio account. And now, sit back and relax, as I present you:

Zahle: a town stuck in time

Nicknamed "The Bride of the Beqaa" and "The Neighbor of the Ravine" due to its geographical location and attractiveness, Zahle is built on a series of foothills of Mount Sannine forming a narrow valley, extending all the way to the Beqaa plateau, at a mean elevation of 1000m:




Zahle: stretching from the mountain to the valley



Zahle: stretching from the mountain to the valley



Panorama of Zahle



Zahle - Panorama of the eastern slope from the Zalzale neighborhood



Dusk over the "Bride of the Beqaa valley"
 

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Feel the pungency!
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29,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

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Feel the pungency!
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29,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)

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Feel the pungency!
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29,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The traditional stone buildings of Zahle are of particular interest. They feature a range of common architectural elements: pyramidal red tile roofs, thick stone walls with arched openings, windows flanked by wooden shutters and often topped by triangular pediments, wrought iron balconies, and an ornate cornice running below the roof. Several examples of these buildings survive around the town:




A traditional house on Mar Elias street



Set in stone



Tear off that damn banner!



A traditional stone building



Mansions of Zahle
 

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Feel the pungency!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Feel the pungency!
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29,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)

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Feel the pungency!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
And let's not forget the grandiose Cristal Grand Hotel Kadri. Originally an Ottoman military hospital, it was later converted into one of the most prestigious hotels in Lebanon. During the civil war, it was occupied by the Syrian army and sustained enormous damage, then was restored in the late 1990s and recovered some of its former glory:



The impressive Cristal Grand Hotel Kadri



The impressive Cristal Grand Hotel Kadri



The artificial pond below Cristal Grand Hotel Kadri



Grand Hotel Kadri glowing in the night
 

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Followed it. What a great thread! We've never been shown so much of the streets and features of the city. Thanks very much the tour!

It raises a question: one sometimes hears of a project to "renovate Zahle's souks." Is there really a project to do so? And if so, do you know which of the streets the "souk" and the project encompass?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Followed it. What a great thread! We've never been shown so much of the streets and features of the city. Thanks very much the tour!
I'm glad you enjoyed it! And there are more photos to come!

It raises a question: one sometimes hears of a project to "renovate Zahle's souks." Is there really a project to do so? And if so, do you know which of the streets the "souk" and the project encompass?
What is colloquially known as "the Souk" here is the central shopping street, but I haven't heard of any renovation projected there. The project you heard of might refer to "Souk el Blat", which was at a time a tiled street lined with artisan shops, and only retains today some marble slabs on the pavement, but again it is not known when such a renovation will take place. To give you an idea, this fountain is situated on Souk el Blat. I'll also post a couple of pictures from this street later.
 
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