HighTower Castle

Then & Now

Explore Aley District's Architectural Heritage

Bourj el Alia

At one of the highest points of Baysour, with commanding views of the village and mountain ranges, is the aptly-named HighTower Castle.

In its previous life, this property was the home of the  accomplished engineer, Hussein Kaidbey.

The son of the renowned horseman Abbas Kaidbey, his mother was the sister of Sheikh Mohammed Daoud Abu Shakra (the spiritual leader of the Druze community).

Although little has been recorded of the background and early years of his life, Hussein Kaidbey was a Lebanese scientist-engineer of international repute. He specialised in electrical and refrigeration engineering. He received training in London in this field, and was responsible for bringing reliable cooling and refrigeration systems to many Gulf nations including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

Kaidbey was a vocal environmentalist before it was fashionable. In 1960, he bought this large property of 6,500 sq metres, on the hilltop of Baysour.

He named the property “The Green Arrow”, and proceeded to build a fortress-style villa, complete with watch-tower and an underground tunnel. He named it Bourj el Alia (High Tower). Building was completed in 1965, and hosted guests including his friends Mikhail Naimy and Ameen Rihani.

Majestic Transformation

After Kaidbey’s death in 1975, the property was bought by Kamal and Ghada Aridi. The civil war that started in the same year and lasted until 1990 took its toll on the building. Reconstruction of the fortress that had been destroyed started immediately after the end of the war in 1990, but Aridi’s dream was not only to repair the damages, but also to create a majestic castle. As a result, four imposing turrets were added on the corners of the existing building transforming it to what it is today.

An Impressive Entrance

Before you enter the high gate to the Castle you will be greeted by the statues of two regal lions that guard its entrance. Beyond the gate, a beautiful courtyard and fountain lie in wait. The castle is surrounded by magnificent gardens.

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HighTower by Night

As well as a family home, HighTower Castle now hosts functions and weddings.

"Magical views"

Its location high up on the top of a mountain ridge offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and the Beirut valley that extends down to the Mediterranean Sea. Especially in the evening, the views are magical with all the lights of the towns and villages below.

Majestic Interiors

The interior has been majestically restored, in a style suiting this palatial residence.

Heather & Sami Eljurdi

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