Deir al Oumara

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Deir al Oumara’s long-lasting heritage dates back hundreds of years, from Ottoman Lebanon to modern Lebanon as we know it today.

The edifice was originally built as a palace in 1827 by Emir Bashir II, one of the most powerful figures of the region during that era. It was used as the office and residence of his main advisor Boutros Karame until both men were exiled in 1840.

Following the destructive conflicts and hardships of the 1860 Mount Lebanon Civil War, and the resulting downfall of the emirate, Deir el Qamar held the interest of European religious missions who helped with its revival and cultural development. This is how the Marist Brothers, a group of missionaries from France, turned the edifice into a boarding school in 1908.


Commonly known as the École des Frères, the school became famous throughout the Chouf mountains for its admirable teaching and education standards, attracting the attention of foreign policymakers such as French politician and novelist Maurice Barrès during his visit in 1914. During its period of prosperity the school was attended by scores of students within the region, even if it entailed hour-long walks in the morning and evening for some children, regardless of the weather conditions – rain, wind, or snow.

The edifice later evolved into various educational institutions, ranging from a community-run center for

private classes and solidarity, to a public school following a decree signed by then-President Camille Chamoun, himself a native of Deir el Qamar.

Today, Deir al Oumara is a Historic Hotel devoted to its Heritage, offering an invigorating mountain escapade and carrying an everlasting story for you to be part of.