- Caza: Jbail
- Distance from Beirut: 52-63 km
- Altitude: 450-650
- Access: Jbail – Amshit –Ghirfin- Hbalin- Shamat –Ghalboun Or Jbail- Amchit Hosrayel-Gharzouz- Maad- Ghalboun
Ghalboun has several meanings:
The first is originated from “Galbouno” meaning “prevail or the strong”, but in the syriac language it means “The Sword”. You can see that the village is shaped like as a sword. The 2nd meaning refers to “The Sawalem” tribe, from Bani Salim tribe, and they were named “Bani Ghalboun”, and turned to be the tribe of “Ibn Ghalboun” spread in Libya and Andalusia. When it comes to the 3rd meaning: after the fall of the emirate of Tripoli, the sons of the crusader king escape down to Ghalboun where they settled down and named after a French pronunciation “Gaulebon” which was transformed with time to Ghalboun.
Riad Hnein tells the story of a crusader king who lived in the region, which he named “Ghalboun” and who was afterwards defeated by his brother. The old Lebanese rural village infrastructure is distinguished by its residential compounds, with narrow, winding alleyways between the houses, and its specific spaces for agriculture. Researchers have found that this town dates to prehistoric times. Ancient grottoes containing flint tools have been found in this town, as well as sarcophagi and the remains of old edifices and tombs dating to the fifth century. It is remarkable for the number of churches related to the Jbail Maronite parish.
The inhabitants of Ghalboun were spread all over the country and they established several villages in Lebanon among which “Ijdabra”/ AlBatroun, and Dahr Abi Yaghi. Also “Douq” village which was “Douq farm”, it was under the reign of Prince Youssef Chehab, and the inhabitants of Ghalboun used to invest it for agriculture and in 1879, the prince Youssef gave the people the right of the implant, drilling and acquisitions in Douq farm, which turned to be the current village of Douq.
- Tombs from 1500 BC carved into the rock or made of clay.
- Historical grotto and monuments:
5000 B.C. Flint stones (knives, wedges, harpoon) were found in the land of Al Watyieh. A study done on these tools at the University of St. Joseph in Beirut in 1947 showed that it’s backed to 5000 BC. With remains of caves and bones dates back to the prehistoric period. It’s also been told that while Alexander the Great was passing in the region, his mistress Juliette died and was buried in the location. Coins and copper tools with the Great Alexander drawings on were found in the area too.
“Koursi Al Meer “ (the prince chair): during his hunting trips, Prince Youssef Chehab passes in Ghalboun Valley, where he preferred to sit the rock at the valley’s entrance. He used to sit and meditate in the beauty of the nature, from that rock, where he made himself a seat called ever since “Koursi AlMeer” (the prince chair).
- Saydet el Hosh Church (Our Lady of the Forest):
It was built in 1947, with the help of Taleb Khairallah Chahine and inaugurated on the 7th of Septembere 1949. It was built on the ruins of an old monastery and renovated many times. The altar is made of marble and placed on two thick pillars. It has a special location on top of a hill, from which you can see that the village shaped like a sword, and that it overlooks Bejjeh village. It has large spaces nearby for picnics. The key with Mrs. Nathalie Bassil Aad (03/592 756) or Miss Mireille Sleiman (03/923 573)
- Mar Phocas Ancient Church (St. Phocas):
Beside Saydet el Hosh, it is all that is left from a big convent from the Byzantine period, but it was built on the remains of a Phoenician temple. The monks living in this convent drained the water with pipes from Wata Bajjeh, clay pipes were found, to draw water from Ain Bejjeh to the convent. When the Mamlouks destroyed the convent, a great number of the monks run to the convent of Our Lady of Elij in Mayfouk, the other part went to the caves in the Chir named “Chir AlQalaa” (the valley of the citadel). The ancestors of the inhabitant of Ghalboun hide in “the Hermit of St. Gerges” (the current church), built on the ruins of a Persian tower. The convent is in ruins. Three martyrs hold the name of Phocas; the most famous one in Lebanon is Phocas the bishop of Sinope, who was martyred at the beginning of the 2nd century during the reign of Emperor Trajan.
- Mar Geryes Parish Church (St. Georges):
The main parish church was in the highest of “Al Hosh” location, but after the village‘s development and the spread of new buildings in the center of the village away from Al Hosh area, the inhabitants decided to build a new church, where the hermit of St. Georges took place on the ruins of a Persian temple dated back to 50 years B.C. The west façade of the church, with the logo of the Persian Empire, the tiger and the lotus flower, is the main proof from that period. People stood on line on Sundays, from the stone quarry in Chi’bada to the church, to help in transferring stones to build the church 200 years ago, in the beginning of the 19th century. Father Botros Abi Sleiman brought the altar as a blessing from Rome, by the help of Patriarch Elias Al Howayek. There’s a similar one at the Church of Our Lady in Hsarat. In 1904, painter Semaan Deeb, draw several oil paintings among which an old drawing for St. Georges. In 1948, icons were painted with white lime, and unfortunately in 2006, the paintings were removed and the altar was transferred due to church enlargement. Ancient manuscripts preserved in the church can be seen.
Located in the central village square, it is the main parish church where all events are celebrated from weddings to baptisms. It was built in the second half of the 19th century with ancient stones. The key is with Mrs. Nathalie Bassil Aad (03/532 756), or Ms. Mireille Sleiman (03/923 573).
- The village school:
It was the 1st school to teach the French language in Jbeil district.
- Old ruined medieval houses.
- Al Ain (an old spring).
- The Mill: On the board of Ghalboun river, belongs to Abaydat real estate. Destroyed during the flood in the 80s, nothing is left but the stone mill and the barn.
Local agriculture: olive, almonds, tobacco, grapes.
Local production: olive products (olives, olive oil, soap), wine and local alcohol products (arak), liquor, carob molasses.
- Walking trails: there are many walking trails in Ghalboun and surroundings, suitable for all ages, where you can enjoy the beautiful nature in its picturesque state. To participate in these activities, contact Mr. Toni Chahine: (71/ 720 160), or Mr. Chadi Rizk (71/475 393), from Ghalboun Hiking Group.
- A guided visit to a poultry farm:
-Mr. Sam Chahine: (71/356 999)
-Mr. Roy Hazzam: (03/277 529)
- A guided visit to the beehive to learn about honey products and derivatives:
– Mr. Fadi Abi Sleiman: (03/737 265)
– Les Ruches de St. Gabriel : Mr. Kamil Aad (76/867 768).
– Mr Raymond Rizk (03/766 438)
- A guided visit to a winery: “Domaine St. Gabriel”:
Mr. Gebrael Gebrael: (03/527 666)
- A guided visit to learn about cognac extraction, and production:
Mrs. Mahjat Abi Sleiman: (09/771 054- 03/923 573)
- Yawmiyat Ghalboun Festivals:
July-August (art exhibitions- old cars exhibitions- competitions- musical parties- olive day…). Festival committee in Ghalboun (76/770 076) municipality: (09/ 770 075);
Fb: Yawmiyat Ghalboun (يوميات غلبون)
- Saydet el Hosh Feast : September 8, traditional dinner in the church square,
Mar Geryes Parish (76/094 009)
- A visit to the exposition of the sculptor Khairallah:
Mrs. Jamale Khairallah: (09/ 771 117)
For further information, visit the Fb page: Ghalboun village