Cave of Assi–Hadath

Hadath overlooks from the east Qadisha Valley, the Valley of Saints, a site rich in caves and grottos among the most famous cave is that of Assi-Hadath, a natural cave located on “Hadath El Jebbeh” at an altitude of 1300 meters. In the seventeeth century, the Patriarch Stephan Douweihy said in his book “Date of times”, that cave Assi-Hadath was a bulwark for people who sought refuge during the war of the Mamluks and the Crusaders in the region in 1283.

WADI QADISHA OR WADI KANNOUBINE

In ancient times, random explotation attempts took place and wreaked sabotage the cave. However, the modern explotations occurred in 1990 by Groupe d’Etudes et de Recherches Souterraines du Liban (GERSEL), who their discoveries commemorated the historical events of the region in the thirteenth century. These rich discoveries become nowadays documented in a book headed “Assi El Hadath Lebanon – History of the cave” published by Phoenix Lebanese Studies – University of Holy Spirit – Kaslik ( Requested from the municipality).

Situated at 1300 m inside a rocky cliff oddly carved by a whimsical geology, Asi-l-Hadath grotto boldly overlooks the Qadisha River at a height of 550 m (pl.1).At the same level as the first of the village houses, it is accessible by a path that slopes gently towards the top of the cliff,which sharply marks the beginning of the valley.

There, by an impressive breach, you descend a very steep path, which seems to have been neglected since the medieval times. Thediscomfort of the slope is accentuated by the brambles andbrush that will scratch you from head to toe! At the foot of this breach, while going up northwest to the left, you find yourself on a small ledge overlooking the valley, standing against an impressive wall that opens up, 40 m higher, to Asi-l-Hadath Grotto.

After viewing it from that location, it is unmistakable how the grotto assumed its name – Assi = the impenetrable or impregnable. Then you climb up a steep rocky and slippery slope and arrive at the foot of a high Access Shaft. From there, the route changes drastically demanding climbing.

 

* All these informations were taking from History & stories from Hadad greatness & and Art history/ and supported with pictures & information by the editor Mr. George Antoun Chedrawy

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