Al Qatteen Convent- Saydet El Bzaz-El Dorr (Our Lady of the Breast Shrine):
Dated back to the 6th century, it is carved into the rocks, where there are caves and remains of rooms in the pockets of the sheer cliff. It was destroyed in 1405, leaving only the altar’s apse, some vaults, a rock basin and a room built from rocks standing on top of the rocks, which no one has reached since the destruction of the monastery; in local parlance, it is “the Boss’s room”.
It was highly ranked since 50 monks lived there. Its floor and path are of natural rocks, and the church is a big cave. Many documents mention that Al Qatteen monastery was composed of several layers, made of cedarwood imported from the mountains of Jaj. Sometimes after the country was invaded in 1405, the convent was burned and the monks were hanged in an oak grove still called “Sar AlMachnaka” “gallows-land”.
All this was because of a rumor that the monks had found treasure nearby and kept it a secret from the people of the region. Only three monks survived. From the inside, this monastery-cave includes on its eastern extremity a bi-apsed shrine dedicated to “Our Lady of the Breasts”, women in need of children and milk still visit the shrine of the Virgin especially to make vows and ask for blessings.
Many believe that Our Lady acquired this nomenclature from breast-like stalactites hanging from the ceiling of the grotto. Its feast is celebrated on the evening of September 7, the eve of the Virgin’s birthday.
- Casa: Batroun
- Distance from Beirut: 61 km
- Altitude: 400
- Access: Madfoun-SmarJbeil-Jran-Abdelli-Jrabta-Sghar Or El Monsef-Gharzouz-Maad-Ain Kfaa- Sghar