:"This article is about a town in Lebanon. You may also be looking for Carl Theodor Zahle, a Danish politician."

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Zahle
other_name =
native_name = زحلة
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imagesize = 300px
image_caption = Vineyards near Zahle, in the central Bekaa Valley

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pushpin_label_position =bottom
pushpin_mapsize =300
pushpin_map_caption =Location in Lebanon
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Flag|Lebanon
subdivision_type1 = Governorate
subdivision_name1 = Beqaa Governorate
subdivision_type2 = District
subdivision_name2 = Zahle District
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leader_title =Mayor
leader_name =Assad Zogaib
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unit_pref =Imperial
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area_total_km2 =19.8
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population_as_of =2006
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population_total =100,000
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timezone = EST
utc_offset = +2
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Zahlé ( _ar. زحلة; also transliterated Zahlah or Zahleh) is the capital of Beqaa Governorate, Lebanon. With around 100,000 inhabitants [ [ World Gazetteer: Lebanon, largest cities and towns and statistics of their population] ] , which makes it the 3rd largest city in Lebanon. The population is mostly Christian. Zahle is called the bride of the Bekaa Valley. It is famous for its clean air, its resorts and its food.


The city is situated 45 km to the East of the Lebanese capital Beirut. It is the only predominantly Catholic city in the Middle East. Famous for its old churches, outdoor restaurants, unique food and a water powered ice factory in Wadi El Arayesh. It's possible to drive a car from Zahlé to Beirut in 30 to 60 minutes, depending on traffic. Zahle is on average 900 meters above sea level.

Zahlé in History

Zahlé was founded about 300 years ago in an area whose past reaches back some five millennia. In the early 18th century the new town was divided into three separate quarters, each of which had its own governor.The city enjoyed a brief period as the region's first independent state in the 19th century when it had its own flag and anthem.Zahlé was burned in 1777 and 1791 by Nadim Hobeika the Great, and it was burned and plundered in 1860.But during the rule of the Mutasarrifiah, Zahlé began to regain its prosperity. The railroad line which came through in 1885 improved commerce and the town became the internal "port" of the Beqaa and Syria. It was also the center of agriculture and trade between Beirut and Damascus, Mosul, and Baghdad. Considered the birthplace of the Lebanese army, Zahlé has played a major role in the political life of the country. []

Zahlé's Bardouni Restaurants

The Bardouni is a river that flows out of Mount Sannine and down through Zahlé. It is also a name synonymous with Lebanon's famous mezze and the delights of outdoor dining.The Bardouni restaurant tradition began over a hundred years ago with a few simple riverside cafes. Today it is a virtual bazaar of tree-shaded eating places known as "casinos", every one more inviting than the next. Not surprisingly, competition is fierce, so each establishment outdoes itself with fountains, pools, and cooling shade to tempt potential customers.Here you can enjoy the traditional Lebanese mezze as it is served nowhere else. To add to the sense of timelessness, delicious mountain bread is baked before your eyes and a man in baggy trousers and fez is on hand to pour Lebanese coffee. He can also provide diners with a hubble-bubble (water pipe). On the cliffs above the Bardouni are the restaurants of Kaa el Reem, also known for their excellent food and atmosphere.

The river Bardaouni which crosses the city is shallow, especially during summer.

Wine and Arak

Zahlé's association with the grape is pervasive, for it lies at the heart of an area that has been making wine since early antiquity. At the city's southern entrance the statue of a graceful female personifies wine and poetry, but you don't have to look far to see evidence of the real thing. The hills north of town with names like Wadi Hadi, Harqat, Bir Ghazour and Tell Zeina are covered with the neat rows of vineyards that supply Zahle's wine and arak industries.Many of the wines have been formally recognized abroad for their fine quality–equal to some of the best in Europe.Fact|date=April 2007 A tour of Zahlé's Ksara winery is a good way to see how wine and arak are made. Of special interest here are the extensive underground caves built around a natural grotto known and enlarged by the Romans

Local Celebrations

Each year between the 10th and 20th of September Zahlé mounts its week-long " Festival of the Vine", a celebration shared with the city's " Flower Festival". In a carnival-like atmosphere "Miss Vine" is elected and cars are decorated with flowers representing national symbols.

Zahlé is also famous for its Corpus Christi festival which dates back to 1825 when the town was spared the ravages of a contagious disease. Corpus Christi is celebrated on the first Thursday of June with a torch-light parade held on the eve of the festival. The next morning a mass takes place at Our Lady of Najat Church, followed by a procession of townspeople carrying the "Holy Bread" through the streets.

Christian pilgrims and tourists also visit the tower of Our Lady of Bekaa for panoramic views of the Beqaa Valley.

Meaning of name

It is speculated that the name "Zahlé" is derived from the Arabic verb _ar. زحل "zahhala", which means "to push away, to dislodge, to displace". The occasional landslides which take place in the area around the city may have been the origin of its name.Fact|date=June 2007

Zahle International Half Marathon

Overview:The Zahle international half marathon is a yearly event that takes place in zahle.It was launched in 2007,about 12,000 runners participated making it the second largest marathon in Lebanon.

Races:The Zahle International Half Marathon comprises 2 separate races, held on the same day. All races allow entry for disabled athletes.

Race coarse:The Zahle International Half Marathon course is a fully certified AIMS course.

Rules and Regulations:

The race is open to all athletes of Lebanese or foreign nationality.

The competitors must comply with age limitations. Age categories will be given a separate classification.

Runners compete in the race under their own responsibility.

Nobody can run the track without official registration. Runners without BIM running bibs will be directed off the course immediately.

Roller-skates, inline skates, bikes, baby strollers or carriages of any kind are not allowed on the Marathon course. If you are caught with any of these, you will be directed off of the route.

Please do not run with your baby or child under 11 years old. A pack of thousands of runners poses a serious risk hazard to your child or baby. As cute as you and your baby will look.

Participants under 11 years old are not covered by the insurance.

Walkers are asked to start near the end of the pack to avoid being crowded or bumped.

Pets are forbidden on the course.

Marathoners may not swap race numbers or timing chip device. Violators risk disqualification from BIM.

Please do not wear jewelry or carry precious items with you during the marathon. The BIM will not be held responsible for any lost valuables.

Participants racing in wheelchairs are required to wear helmets throughout the race.

ister Cities

flagicon|Argentina Rosario, Argentina

flagicon|France Champagne, France


External links

* []
* [ tourism]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Zahlé — (ar) زحلة …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Zahlé — زحلة [Zahla] Zahlé …   Wikipedia Español

  • Zahlé — زحلة Staat …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Zahle — Zahlé Zahlé (ar) زحلة Administ …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Zahle — ist der Name einer Stadt im Libanon, siehe Zahlé und ist der Name von folgenden Personen Carl Theodor Zahle (1866–1946), dänischer Jurist und Politiker Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Zahle —   [ zax ], französisch Zahlé [za le], Stadt in Libanon, Sahla …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Zahle — Zahle, Garnmaß, so v.w. Zahl 3) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Zahlé — (Zahla) v. du Liban, située dans la plaine de la Beqaa; 50 000 hab. Station estivale …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Zahle — Original name in latin Zahl Name in other language QZQ, Zahlah, Zahle, Zahleh, Zahl Zakhla, Zalah, zhlh, zhlt, Захла State code LB Continent/City Asia/Beirut longitude 33.84675 latitude 35.90203 altitude 963 Population 78145 Date 2013 04 21 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Zahle and Forzol — • Greco Melchite diocese Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Zahle and Forzol     Zahle and Forzol     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

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