The silk factory in Damour
Damour silk factory is a breathtaking, abandoned structure set amid banana plantations a stone’s throw from the coast by Damour and a few miles south from Beirut Airport. Once the thriving center of the Chouf region in the 19th century, Damour was home to twelve large silk manufacturing companies and its plain was then planted with mulberry bushes in which silkworms were bred. Nowadays best known for its sandy and rocky beaches (Iris, Oceana and Lazy B. among others), Damour has much more to offer, if you take a short drive into the city’s banana plantations.
At some point, in the middle of a pocket of jungle, you will find an abandoned, abbey-shaped structure overlooking the coast. This is the Damour silk factory or “Kerkhane”, one of the last five witnesses to the industry the seaside town was home to and that used to produce the best silk in the world. This forsaken place, literally a wreck, but still with a very real sense of its past, is awkward and unusual, but is surrounded by dreamy beaches and nightlife spots. A guaranteed change of scenery, it’s not too far away from home, whether you come from Lebanon or the wider MENA region.