• Casa: Batroun
  • Distance from Beirut: 49-55 Km
  • Altitude: 300-450 m
  • Access: Batroun – Eddeh-SmarJbeil-Rachana Or Madfoun-Thoum – Rachana
General and historical information

The four sons of Ibrahim Bou Chdid, originally from Maad village, went to settle here and established the village of Rachana.

“Rachana” comes from a Phoenician word meaning “the small peak”. In the middle of the 20th century, Rachana’s name gained significance in the arts when the Basbous brothers (Michel, Alfred and Youssef) displayed their sculptures all over the town, transforming it into an open-air museum (symposiums). The workshops of the Basbous brothers were transformed into showrooms. This talent was passed on to the second generation of the Basbous family, who preserved the family’s art school after the death of the three brothers. Anashar, the son of Michel, Samir and Nabil, the sons of Youssef, and Tony Kabalan’s son are all sculptors, continuing the family’s art tradition.

Monuments and sites to visit
  • Alfred Basbous museum and exhibition: (06/720 903)

The exhibition is kept by the wife of Alfred, Marie Basbous. Unfortunatly, none of his children inherited his talents.

 

  • Michel Basbous’ workshop and exhibition: ( 06/720 310)

Anachar Basbous is a sculptor like his father Michel. You can still visit the gardens of the house, the workshop and the museum, but not the artist’s old house itself anymore.

 

  • Youssef Basbous’ workshop and exhibition: (06/ 721 165)

Samir and Nabil Basbous are also sculptors, like their father Youssef. You can always visit their workshops.

Samir Basbous(03/899 165-06/721 165), Nabil Basbous(03/305 123)

 

  • The Open-Air Museum

In 1994, the brothers Alfred and Youssef hosted the International Sculptors’ Atelier in Rachana, which left the village rich in the work of a number of international sculptors. The event used to take place during the month of August of each year, and new sculptures were added every year alongside those of the Basbous family. This active sculpture project earned Rachana the name “global village of sculpture housed in the open air” from UNESCO. Since 2005, however, the exhibition is no longer taking place.

 

  • Mar Maroun Al Nasek Parish Church (St. Maroun the hermit):

This church is the first church dedicated to St. Maroun in the area. It is the main village church where all weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies take place.

The church is dedicated to Mar Maroun, a hermit who lived in the 4th century, who was originally from Syria. He is the father of the Maronite order. At first he lived as a hermit, but his faith and miracles attracted a lot of followers, and he ended up having his own students and community. He died in 410 at 70 years old, after which the locals worked hard to acquire and preserve his relics. The key is at Snack Olivier, with Mrs. Wadad Chahine (06/720 339)

 

“Beit El Akhaouiyeh” (the fraternity house), built in the memory of Aline Khalifeh:

It includes both the priest’s house and the public library.

Local agriculture and products

Olive products (oil, olives, soap).

Dairy products

Local Activities

An annual international sculpture exhibition used to be held during the month of August, but it stopped in 2005.

A traditional dinner, organized by Mrs. Soltana Abdallah president of the fraternity (03/751 508), takes place every year in the village square, generally on the second Saturday of August. Every attending family brings a main dish and shares a moment of happiness with all local and visitors.

Food and beverages

L’Olivier snack (saj & manakish): Mrs. Wadad Chahine (06/720 339)

Rachana Palace restaurant: 06/720 002 – 03/705 661

Al Talleh restaurant: Mr. Samir Khalifeh (06/720 331)

Lodgings

Guesthouse Mrs. Laurice Abdallah:

(06/ 720 266- 71/ 220 204-  Mr.Naiim Abdallah: 03/343226

Motel Rachana palace: (06/720 002 – 03/705 661);

Fb: HOTEL Rachana Palace

Local guides

Mrs. Laurice Abdallah: (06/720 266 – 71/220 204 – 03/343226)

Useful Information

Gas station “Shrink”: Mr. Pierre Khoury (06/720 092- 03/515 132)