Lebanon's Moussa Castle: One Man's Lifelong Dream

Outside the Castle
Outside the Castle | © travpacker.com/Flickr | Travpacker.com

Freelance Writer

Lebanon is full of small gems and spots to explore. The country‘s history is deep and interesting and has resulted in small curiosities. The Moussa castle is a small testament within the country to how far the Lebanese will go to achieve their dreams. If you want to see something original, visit this wish-fulfilling castle.

Located between Deir el Kamar and Beiteddine, the Moussa castle is an amazing experience. To know about it you must first get to know the person who single-handedly built it, Moussa Abdel Karim Maamari. Born in 1931, Maamari had always been taken by dreams of the Middle Ages, castles, and knights. At 14, he aspired to build his own castle but was mocked by his teacher and classmates.

Maamari then left school and dedicated his life to castle renovation and building around Lebanon. He worked on restoring a fortress in Sidon and was commissioned to manage artifacts found around castles later displayed in the national museum of Beirut. He continued working in the field in hopes of gaining the experience he needed to realize his own plans, all the time contributing to the restoration and conservation of Lebanese history.

In the 1950s, Maamari finally purchased his piece of land and in 1962, he lay the first stone in what would become the Moussa castle today. He worked day and night on the castle, which took 60 years of work to perfect. In his book on the matter, Maamari specifies that it took him 21,900 days and 394,200 hours to finish.

Maamari later turned his actualized dream into a business. Today, every room in the three-story castle is decorated with wax figurines displaying different aspects of life in historical and/or rural Lebanon. Its halls are dedicated to the country’s legacy, customs, and folklore, which include several collections of vintage weapons, collectibles, and trinkets. Thousands flock every year to see this wonder and to this day, many country officials praise Maamari for his perseverance.

Don’t miss out on this unique experience in the heart of Lebanon and make sure to visit the Moussa Castle on your next visit to Lebanon. It’s not always that you get to see a child’s dream castle realized!

Opening Hours:

Seven days a week
May-October: from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
November-April: from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Entrance Fees: 15,000 LL (10 US$) for adults; 7,500 LL (5 US$) children

Damour, Beit El Dine Road, Lebanon, +961 5 500 106

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