Baskinta Village, بسكنتا
Baskinta (Arabic: بسكنتا) is a Lebanese village situated at an altitude ranging from 1250 metres above sea level and climes up to appropproximatly 1800 meters of height at Qanat Bakish, making it one of the highest villages of Lebanon. It is located 43 kilometers north east of Beirut.
Baskinta is known for its natural environment and moderate climate. Baskinta is becoming a cycling spot for mountain biking amateurs with some off-road trails and a developed cycling community. It was also the capital city of the Syriac Christian state of Marada. Baskinta is also known for the variety of its fruit especially apples and vineyards. The residents are Christians: 70% Maronites and 30% Greek Orthodox.
Baskinta carries the ruins of monuments, cemeteries, and numismatics, pottery remains that date as back as the Phoenician and the Greek ages. The Greeks knew Baskinta and built in it several palaces - of which enormous stones, pillars stands, and underground passages still exist.
Bacchus temple in the place known as Qanat Bakish, connotes Bacchus, the god of merriment and wine in Greek mythology. The Faqra temple ruins dedicated to Adonis and Atargatis are also found 11 km north of Baskinta nearby Mzaar Kfardebian, the largest ski resort in the Middle East.
Golden numismatics, coins, jewels that belonged to Queen Helena (Saint Helen of Constantinople, (c. 250 – c. 330), mother of Constantine the Great) have been found too and they go back in time to the reign of Suljok and Antokhios the 1st, the 2nd and the 3rd when she went to the Holy Land looking for the true cross. The Cross of All Nations was built in Baskinta to commemorate this.
It is also the native village of Mikhail Naimy, one of Lebanon's greatest thinkers and men of letters world famous for his spiritual writings, notably “The Book of Mirdad”. A poet, novelist and philosopher, Naimy co-founded, along with Khalil Gibran and others, the New York literary society known as the Pen League. He personified Baskinta's natural scenarios in most of his writings. It was here in a hut surrounded by extraordinary rock formations that Naimeh drafted much of his monumental work.
The family home of award winning novelist and journalist Amin Maalouf at Ain el Qabou is nearby Baskinta where his novel "The Rock of Tanois" is also set. Maalouf also has a summer house there.
The Baskinta Literary Trail, a 24-km long, offers hikers a chance to discover 22 literary landmarks related to several acclaimed, Lebanese literary figures that come from the area.
In addition to its ruins, there are hotels, and chalets sought by skiers. Baskinta lies ahead of Mzaar Kfardebian, and at the foot of Mount Sannine. The name Baskinta means "the abode, the residence, and the place" according to the Syriac Etymology. This traditional summer resort has views of the surrounding mountains. From Beirut head north toward Antelias, about a 12 km drive before you turn east to drive uphill towards Bikfaya, passing through Bteghrine towards Baskinta.
From Baskinta it is possible to climb to the 2,628-meter summit of Mount Sannine, starting off at Nabaa Sannine, a village 7 km up the mountain.
Mikhail Naimy- world renowned writer and novelist.
Amin Maalouf- award-winning novelist.
Georges Hobeika- Houte couture fashion designer.
Bethany Kehdy- culinary expert and cookbook author.
Melhem Khoury- founder of Dairy Khoury, 2nd biggest dairy company in Lebanon
José Rafael Abinader- politician, lawyer and writer.
Mikhail Kiwan- well known businessman in Baskinta.