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#880 Beiteddine Palace, Lebanon

Deep in the hills in Southern Lebanon, several hours drive from Beirut lies Beiteddine (literally 'House of Religion'), a palace in a town of the same name filled with Byzantine mosaics, courtyards, fountains and lovely gardens. Began in 1788 on the site of a Druze hermitage, it used architects from across the Arab world and Italy to ensure its masterpiece. Serving as a government office during both the Ottoman and French mandate periods, it was finally declared a national monument in 1934.

Wandering among its courtyards, standing under its arches, admiring the tilework in the hammams (bathhouses), or just taking in the stables, museums and apartments, it is a magnificent place despite being looted during the Israeli invasion.

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