February 07, 2016

Mechwar: Rashaya el Wadi

Rashaya, Rachaya, Rashaiya, Rashayya or Rachaiya (Arabic: راشيا), also known as Rashaya al-Wadi orRachaya el-Wadi, is a town of the Rashaya District in the south of the Beqaa Governorate of Lebanon. It is situated at around 1,350 metres above sea level on the western slopes of Mount Hermon, south east of Beirut near the Syrian border, and approximately halfway between Jezzine and Damascus.

Rashaya has a population of around 6,000 to 7,500 that are mostly Druze. It is still considered to be a traditional Lebanese town with its old cobbled streets and small shops, even though it witnessed in recent years a slight expansion of buildings. It retains a distinguished character of traditional stone houses with red tiled roofs.

The small souk in the middle of the town offers various shops selling local crafts and inexpensive goods. There is a recently renovated goldsmiths selling an assortment of gold and silver jewelry in Byzantine and other styles. Rashaya has four churches and a Druze khalwaat. There is a Greek Catholic Church and a Syriac Catholic Church along with the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.





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