On a 1,970-foot (600-meter) hilltop just north of Beirut overlooking the Bay of Jounieh stands a painted bronze statue of the Virgin Mary with her hands outstretched toward the city. The shrine to Our Lady of Harissa, the nation’s patron saint, was erected in 1908 and has become one of the world’s most important shrines to the Virgin Mary and attracts millions of pilgrims and visitors each year.
Getting to the base of the white statue requires 10-minute ride up the hillside from Jounieh aboard a teleferique, or cable car. The views of Beirut and the sea beyond from Harissa’s base are worth the ride in their own right.
Besides the cable car, Harissa is also reachable via car from Jounieh, though the road isn’t as pretty as the cable car ride up. If you take the cable car, there is a fee.