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HARISSA

HARISSA



Harissa (Arabic حريصا) is an important Lebanesepilgrimage site high above Jounieh, located at 650 meters altitude from the coast and 20 km distance from Beirut the capital city; the site is accessible either by a steep winding road or a nine-minute journey by a gondola lift, known as the "Téléférique". It attracts both pilgrims and tourists who want to enjoy views of Jounieh. The main site is a huge 15-ton bronze (and painted white) statue of Virgin Mary, known as Our Lady of Lebanon or Notre Dame du Liban, with her arms outstretched. The statue was made at the end of the 19th century and inaugurated in 1908. Inside the statue's base there is a small chapel. A huge modernistic Maronitecathedral built of concrete and glass stands right beside the statue. Among other churches of various denominations, it is worth mentioning the Byzantine-style, Melkite Greek Catholicbasilica of St. Paul, located south of the statue and built between 1947 and 1962. The Apostolic Nunciature (Papal Embassy), as well as the residences of four patriarchs of Eastern Catholic Churches, are in the vicinity of Harissa and Our Lady of Lebanon. On May 10, 1997, Pope John Paul II visited Harissa. On May 29, 2011, The Virgin Mary of Harissa, appeared in the skies, above the actual statue. Hundreds were there, saw her appearance in the sky, started prayingand taking pictures of her.

 

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