Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Ancient Olive Trees of Bechealeh

Lebanon is famous for its biblical cedars. But there are also ancient olive trees in the country that rival the cedars in age and beauty. They may or may not be as old as the Ministry of Tourism claims (4,000 B.C.), but nature's craftsmanship and the twists and turns of the wood over centuries is a metaphor for time itself.

This miniature grove of half a dozen trees is tucked away on a small road on the way to Douma in the northern Lebanese mountains. From there, one can climb to the valley of Tannourine, and further up towards the great cedars themselves. Unlike those emblematic trees, however, it's very easy to just drive by and miss the ancient olive grove of Bechealeh.

1 comment:

Lara Francis El Hani said...

those are probably the most ancient olive trees in the world, unfortunately, you have missed the oldest, and by far the largest, in your post, where the trunk has a perimeter of 28 meters, it is the last one on the right looking from the road. back in the days the goatherds would lock the goat herd well fenced in it's trunk by night!