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Raouche and Corniche

Raouche is quite a fascinating neighborhood. As it slopes upward from the sea, many of its residential streets are wonderfully calm, secluded places, with unexpected garden paths connecting disparate properties, from early 20th century apartment blocks, to humble abodes that have resisted decades of development.

 

As you might guess, the area is home to a variety of traditional Lebanese restaurants. They may lack the pizzazz and gusto of other parts of Beirut, but don’t be fooled—some of these unprepossessing little eateries are among the finest in the city.

 

In contrast to these, as you wind your way back down the hill you come upon one of Beirut’s absolutely essential attractions: the Al-Manara (lighthouse) corniche, which stretches between Ain al-Mrayyseh to Ras Beirut. Delighting generations of strollers, the corniche plays host to joggers, swimmers, families and lovers. The strip is also known for its sea resorts and hotels, and the many restaurants and cafes that front the Mediterranean Sea.

 

The Beirut lighthouse borders the corniche from the south, and the street was named after it. It is worth mentioning that several prehistoric tools were found near the pigeon grotto, which can be found at the Lebanese Prehistory Museum.


The name Raouche is the Arabic version of the word "rocher," French for "rock"—a reference to the two colossal rocks in the sea just off the shoreline that keep watch over the place.

 

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