Wadee Kadisha - Kadisha Valley
The Kadisha Valley (also known as Qadisha Valley, Wadi Qadisha, Ouadi Qadisha, or وادي قاديشا in Arabic) is a valley that lies within the Becharre and Zgharta Districts of the North Governorate of Lebanon. The valley is a deep gorge carved by the Kadisha River, also known as the Nahr Abu Ali when it reaches Tripoli. Kadisha means "Holy" in Aramaic, and the valley, sometimes called the Holy Valley, has sheltered Christian monastic communities for many centuries. The integrity of the Valley is at risk due to encroachment of human settlements, illegal building and inconsistent conservation activity. Although it is not yet on the UNESCO "in danger" list, there have been warnings that continued violations may lead to this step.
The Kadisha Valley is nearby the Forest of the Cedars of God, survivors of the ancient Cedars of Lebanon, the most highly prized building materials of the ancient world. The forest is said to contain 375 individual trees, two claimed to be over 3000 years old, ten over 1000 years, and the remainder at least centuries-old. The Lebanon Cedar (Cedrus Libani) is described in ancient works on botany as the oldest tree in the world. It was admired by the Israelites, who brought it to their land to build the First and the Second temples in Jerusalem. Historical sources report that the famous cedar forests were beginning to disappear at the time of Justinian in the 6th century AD.