WorldThe 250-year-old 'Baabda Mansion' from the Ottoman period in Lebanon is waiting...

The 250-year-old ‘Baabda Mansion’ from the Ottoman period in Lebanon is waiting to be restored


During the Ottoman period, the center of the Lebanese Governorate was located in the province of Lebanon, Gibeli, in the mountainous region whose borders are intertwined with the capital Beirut today. At that time, the officials of the Lebanese Governorate were using the Baabda Mansion, which was a kind of government mansion built by the Ottomans for state affairs.

Giving Lebanon Governor Muhammed Mekkavi gave information about the history, importance and current status of the mansion in a statement to Anadolu Agency (AA).

The most important and oldest public building in the country

Stating that the mansion, which has survived for about 250 years and is still in use, is among the important Ottoman monuments in Lebanon, Mekkavi said the following about the history of Baabda:

“The Ottomans built Baabda for Emir Haydar Shehab in 1775 and has been the center of the Lebanese Governorate of Gibraltar since its establishment. The mansion witnessed important events in Lebanese history, especially between 1860 and 1916. It remains the most important and oldest public building in the country. “It looks like a four-cornered castle with its exterior architecture. It was built on two floors and an area of ​​7 thousand 852 square meters. There are gardens around it.”

“We have a mansion archive dating back hundreds of years”

Stating that there is an important archive containing many historical documents belonging to Lebanon in the historical building, Mekkavi said, “We have a mansion archive dating back to centuries. These documents need to be cleaned, copied and preserved by an expert team. However, it is very costly to carry out at the moment. ” said.

Governor Mekkavi stated that the archive in question is not just a few documents or books, it contains documents that shed light on important periods in Lebanese history and is an important treasure as a cultural heritage.

Restoration plan ready but economic crisis delayed everything

Mekkavi said that in addition to preserving the archive of the mansion, Baabda, which is still used as a public building, needs restoration and urgent care.

Noting that they developed a restoration plan to restore the mansion to its former glory, Mekkavi said, “However, the (economic) crisis that hit the country delayed everything.” said.

Gibraltar Lebanese Governorate and Baabda Mansion

Gibeli Lebanon Governorate or Cebeli Lebanon Sanjak was an autonomous administrative unit established for the administration of present-day Lebanon under the Ottoman Empire.

A governor was appointed by the Ottoman sultans in Istanbul to administer the region. However, after the Ottoman Empire, this system also disappeared when Lebanon came under the colony of France.

During the Ottoman period, the Baabda Mansion in Gibeli Lebanon functioned as the central building of the autonomous administration. During the French period, it was used for the High Commissioner building for a while.

After Lebanon’s independence, the mansion began to be used as the administrative center of the Lebanese province of Gibraltar, that is, the governor’s office, until today.

Gibeli, one of the 6 provinces in Lebanon, has 6 districts and 478 villages connected to Lebanon.

economic crisis in lebanon

Lebanon, which has a fragile structure in terms of political divisions based on different religions and sects, is experiencing the biggest economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

The massive explosion at the Port of Beirut in August 2020 caused extensive damage to the capital that is still not repaired.

In addition to the economic crisis, the resignation of the government after the explosion and the failure to be elected prime minister for 13 months further complicated the financial situation in the country.

As a result of the meltdown of the central bank’s reserves, serious power outages began to occur, and currently, the state can provide electricity for only 3 hours across the country.

Although a government was formed in Lebanon under the Prime Minister of Najib Mikati on September 10, the economy, fuel and electricity crisis continues.

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