Mseilleh castle in Batroun. Photo credit: François el Bacha for Libnanews.com. All rights reserved

Located at the foot of the newly built dam in Batroun, Mseilha Castle, majestically enthroned on its peak, controls the valley where the Nasr Jozz river flows.

This valley was called in the Middle Ages, passes Saint Guillaume. The building thus made it possible to monitor this strategic location between North Lebanon and the city of Tripoli and Batroun then Byblos and Beirut and to block access with a reduced garrison.

The first structures must have existed since Antiquity, however they have disappeared. Some sources mention the reuse of certain blocks of stone. However during Antiquity, its importance was less: A crossing point made it possible to bypass it via Ras el Chékaa.
However, the collapse of part of the cliff during the famous earthquake of 551 AD will interrupt this axis.

The first mention of the castle of Mseilha comes in 1106. This first construction is attributed to the constable of Tripoli, Guillaume de Farabel.

In the 13th century, the Mamluks will regain control of the Castle of Mseilha then the Ottomans in the 16th century, just like that of Smar Jbeil.

However, its current structure is more recent:
The current building was remodeled by Emir Fakhr-al-Din II, around 1624 during his revolt against the Sublime Porte. Mseilha Castle, however, retains architectural elements typical of the Crusader period, such as gun slits.

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You can access this castle by a small ramp. It appears to be built on 2 levels.

An even more powerful device, the castle of Smar Jbeil is a few kilometers away.

Getting there

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Expert économique, François el Bacha est l'un des membres fondateurs de Libnanews.com. Il a notamment travaillé pour des projets multiples, allant du secteur bancaire aux problèmes socio-économiques et plus spécifiquement en terme de diversité au sein des entreprises.