Lebanese Culture & History at Chez Andre
If you want to have an experience of the old Beirut...of a place that still holds the memories and the smiles and the faces of Beirut's 60's and 70's till this day..go and visit Chez Andre in Hamra.
I was wondering whether to place this tip under the Restaurant tip/Nightlife tip..but I decided that this was a place that anyone with a little curiosity as to what a bar looked like 20-30 years ago should go and visit Chez Andre.
Try out the soujok and maqaniq or have a drink, listen to Fairuz and talk to the owner over the counter..or simply look around at the pictures hung up on the wall of this tiny place..I believe that you will enjoy the experience..i know i did ;-)
Unfortunately, this place has been relocated. Rumour has it, that the owner of Chez Andre had a disagreement with the owner of the building in which this place is in...It is now located in a building on the main Hamra Street, right above Starbucks. I do not know if it still holds the charm of the old place..but it seems to be attracting a good crowd.
Modern Capital, Venerable Past
Beirut, with its million-plus inhabitants, conveys a sense of life and energy that is immediately apparent. This dynamism is echoed by Capital’s geographical position: a great promontory jutting into the blue sea with dramatic mountains rising behind it. A city with a venerable past, 5,000 years ago Beirut was a prosperous town on the Canaanite and Phoenician coast.
The City That Would Not Die
Beirut survived a decade and a half of conflict and so has earned the right to call itself "the City that would not die." As if to demonstrate this resiliency, the Lebanese have launched a great rush of building activity, including the public service infrastructure.
In the ruined City Center, a huge reconstruction project is underway to create a new commercial and residential district for the 21st century. Commerce is second nature to Beirutis, who long ago discovered that their port city on the East-West cross-roads was ideally placed for trading and business all kinds. A banking center with free currency ex-change, the chief employment here is in trade, banking, construction, import-export and service industries.
The Lebanese capital enjoys a vigorous press that publishes in Arabic, English, French and Armenian. Five Universities help keep ideas and innovations flowing. Historical Heritage
Beirut stands on the site of a very ancient settlement going back at least 5,000 years. Its name appeared in cuneiform inscriptions as early as the 14th century B.C.
In the first century B.C., Berytus, as it was then called, became a Roman Colony and under Roman rule was the seat of a famous Law school which continued into the Byzantine era.
But the power and the glory of Berytus were destroyed by a triple catastrophe of earthquake, tidal wave and fire in 551 A.D. In the following century Arab Muslim forces took the city and in 1110 it fell into the Crusaders. Beirut remained in Crusader hands until 1291 when it was conquered by the Mamlukes. Ottoman rule began in 1516, continuing for 400 years later until the defeat of the Turks in World War I.
The French Mandate Period followed and in 1943 Lebanon gained its independence.
Uncovering the Past
A city continuously inhabited for millennia, until recently most of the few archaeological discoveries in Beirut were accidental. However the war's end in 1991 provided opportunity for more comprehensive and scientific investigation.
Beneath the ruined downtown area, which is under reconstruction, lie the remains of Ottoman, Mamluke, Crusader, Abbassid, Omayyad, Byzantine, Roman, Persian, Phoenician and Canaanite Beirut. With luck, a good portion of Beirut's history will be uncovered before reconstruction is complete.
Beginning in 1993, archaeologists and builders began cooperating on just such a project. Teams from Lebanese and foreign institutions have found significant remains from each of Beirut's historical periods. All discoveries are being carefully recorded and many will be preserved.
Traffic Jam !
This was my last photo taken in Beirut.
Enough of me seeing the bad traffics around Beirut !
I dunno, this last photo sort of sums up Beirut, maybe.
After that, I walked back to the hotel & collected my luggage. Waited for my Lebanese friend called Riyad to come & picked me up because we were having this plan to drive through to the North of Lebanon ! Amazing !
We planned to drive to Byblos but a de-tour happened hence we stopped by HERE.
You can find everything here
You can really find here everything, rememeber i travel there fwith a baby and i found everything i need, i am the light travelling style traveller, and i love to go to supermarkets or to the local market to buy the things i need, its a way to learn the country. They have everything in a very big variety.
Behind Saint George’s Church there is a small chapel for the veneration of icons. Actually, I’m not sure if this building is meant to be a chapel for veneration, or more of a museum/gallery to display a number of the Church’s acquisitions of Serbian and Russian icons. In any case, this small space has a good 20 or so paintings from various parts of the Orthodox Christian world, depicting various saints, the Virgin and holy people and events from the history of Orthodox Christianity. These are all foreign works – the Lebanese icons seem to be contained to the main church – so there’s no real insight into religious iconography in Lebanon. Still, they are beautiful paintings that deserve a few minutes of your time, if you’re interested in such artwork.