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Beirut Lighthouses

Al Manara

· Beirut


At the beginning of the 19th century, Beirut became a maritime crossroad between east and west, making it one of the most important economic and financial hubs in the region.

To safely guide ships, five consecutive lighthouses were erected in Ras-Beirut, specifically in an area commonly known today as “Al Manara” (Arabic translation of Lighthouse).


The five lighthouses have been managed by the Cheblis, a Beiruti family who took it upon itself, from father to son, to beam the lighthouses for the past 150 years.


1890 – Beirut’s first lighthouse was built at the foot of Kraytem area.

The  structure measured around 15m height, constructed from bricks, and burned kerosene for light.

The lighthouse was later demolished and a second one made out of concrete, measuring 20m heigh, was erected on higher grounds, near LAU Kraytem today. 

The lighthouse turned off during WWI and WWII for security reasons, and lost its function in the 1950's. 

During the 2006 war, the IDF bombarded the structure roof, resulting in the loss of the old lightning mechanism.

1952 – Beirut’s third lighthouse was built in Ras-Beirut, behind the German school on Bliss Street and right next to the famous "Pink House", on top of a hill overlooking the shore. 

Its constrcution took place following the incident of the French SS Champollion which sank near Khaldeh, south of Beirut, as it headed to the capital, on December 22nd, 1952. Back then, the ship's captain confused the lighthouse lights with the airport ones.

By the mid-1950's, the lighthouse became useless as buildings surrounded it, and was consequently shut down and replaced by a forth one at the same spot.

1957 – Beirut's forth lighthouse measures 25 meters height, and is built from concrete.

During the Israeli invasion of 1982, the Cheblis were asked to turn off the lighthouse to prevent the IDF beach landing. It remained off until the end of the civil war.

The tower finally turned off its lights when skyscrapers encircled it by the end of the 1990’s.

2003 – Beirut’s fifth lighthouse was built in Al Manara area, right on the shores. 

Measuring 25 meters, the structure is painted in white and red vertical bands.

It is guarded by the Lebanese army and houses a radar and surveillance installations.

Scroll down to enjoy the pictures and to locate the site on the map.

Karim Sokhn

Tour Operator & Tour Guide


Beirut and the Sultan book, Municipality of Beirut

Beirut’s first lighthouse

Beirut's second lighthouse


Beirut's third and forth lighthouses (Notice the short and tall structures)

The fifth lighthouse



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