|Location:||Near Bcharré. At the road between The Cedars and Bcharré, 10 min. walk, signposted. Northern Region, Qadisha Valley and Bécharré District, 128km from Beirut. (36°00'E, 34°17'N)|
|Open:||During Summer 9-16.|
|Fee:||Adults LGBP 3,000. |
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1923||discovered by the priest John Jacob, a monk of Monastry of St. Joseph.|
|1998||Ouadi Qadisha inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.|
Magharet Qadisha was discovered by the priest John Jacob, a monk of Monastry of St. Joseph, in 1923. He was looking for the sources of Qadisha river. He followed the river up to the spring and entered the cave, but he soon ended his first cave exploration because of the low temperature in the cave. He repeated his exploration tour a little later with warmer clothes and discovered the cave.
But although he told about his discovery and the inhabitants of Bcharré knew about the cave, it took until after his death to make another exploration. Later the cave was well developed and has now easy paths and electric light.
The cave is the spring of Qadisha river, which means it is a river cave. This river is flowing into the Mediterranean Sea near Tripolis, where it is called Abu'Ali.
Qadisha cave is beautiful, but small. Unlike Jeita it is rarely mentioned in guidebooks and so there are very little visitors.
But it is not the only cave in Ouadi Qadisha, there are numerous caves which were used over centuries for cave churches and monasteries. The word Qadisha comes from a Semitic root meaning holy and Ouadi Qadisha is thus the Holy Valley. There are numerous small caves, many of whom were used during centuries by man. Rock shelters inhabited from the third millennium B.C. to the Roman period. Since the early Middle Ages generations of monks, hermits, ascetics and anchorites found asylum in the caves. There are cave chapels, hermitages, monasteries, and Moslem Soufis cut from the rock. The cave churches of Mar Sarkis, Mar Bohana and Mart Shmouna show 13th century paintings. The whole valley is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Before World War II an electric power plant was built at the cave.