Salima is located aproximately 60 miles north east of Beirut in the Mountains. The palace of the Emir was built in the 16th century. The surrounding woods contain myrtles, arbuts, gum sistus, wild sage, laurea, wild vines, rosa, and valonia oak. Salima is reached via Baabdat on a road that winds down through an unspoiled valley then up to the opposite hillside. Continue to the top of the town where many old structures still stand, most in an advanced state of ruin.The main attraction is Salima Palace, a Druze fortress of the Abillama Emirs built in 1721 by
Hussein, the first Prince Abillama. Acquired in 1882 by the Capuchins, the building was changed and restored in 1895 and 1906. The grandiose main entrance comes into view first as you approach a prominent bend in the road. The main portal is enclosed in an ornate arabesque molding with two lions flanking the central arch. Above the portal is the old "diwan" or reception room. The road then takes you to the top level where it is possible to enter the house and explore some of its rooms and the upper courtyard. Salima also has several old churches. Probably the oldest, built in 1684, is on the lower level. A tour around the town will reveal a considerable number of houses contemporary with the castle, most without roofs. But despite their condition, these buildings make the entrance to Salima a unique and dramatic sight.
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