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Villa Sursock: a cultural identity in a place loosing its own

It has been said and complained about a lot, the towers rising in Ashrafieh, soon to throne over us like giant monoliths … Ashrafieh some might say is loosing its roots, its links to the past, and with it its identity, soon to be but an empty conformist shell. If this is to be true, for now one monument remains, a monument that captures the Lebanese architectural identity. That monument is known as Sursock palace.

Mussa Sursock built the place in the 1850s. It is now inhabited by the original owner's granddaughter Lady Yvonne Cochrane. It is the largest house in Sursock and the one that remains almost just the way it was when it was built.

The house's architecture is a mix of Lebanese and Italian.

A webpage dedicated to the building evokes east and west towers resembling some Sicilian castles from the same period. Upstairs, the main gate of wrought iron is framed by a finely Neapolitan crafted woodwork from the 17th century.

In the text that she published on discoverlebanon.com, Lady Cochrane also mentions the four rows of triple arches of the great hall, with a view over the Mediterranean.

The large windows of the villa used to offer a view till the port of Byblos.

But today buildings are the only scenery left.

If you are tired of all the towers, just go and stare at this monument of the past, it might relax you.
 

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2012-05-14

It has been said and complained about a lot, the towers rising in Ashrafieh, soon to throne over us like giant monoliths … Ashrafieh some might say is loosing its roots, its links to the past, and with it its identity, soon to be but an empty conformist shell. If this is to be true, for now one monument remains, a monument that captures the Lebanese architectural identity. That monument is known as Sursock palace.

Mussa Sursock built the place in the 1850s. It is now inhabited by the original owner's granddaughter Lady Yvonne Cochrane. It is the largest house in Sursock and the one that remains almost just the way it was when it was built.

The house's architecture is a mix of Lebanese and Italian.

A webpage dedicated to the building evokes east and west towers resembling some Sicilian castles from the same period. Upstairs, the main gate of wrought iron is framed by a finely Neapolitan crafted woodwork from the 17th century.

In the text that she published on discoverlebanon.com, Lady Cochrane also mentions the four rows of triple arches of the great hall, with a view over the Mediterranean.

The large windows of the villa used to offer a view till the port of Byblos.

But today buildings are the only scenery left.

If you are tired of all the towers, just go and stare at this monument of the past, it might relax you.
 

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