July 22, 2009

Jeita Grotto A Finalist For Natural Wonder

On Tuesday, Lebanon's Jeita Grotto was selected as one of the finalists for the seven natural wonders of the world, facing the Amazon, Mount Vesuvius and others for a spot on the prestigious list.

"This is a moment every Lebanese should be proud of," said Nabil Haddad, who heads Jeita's national support committee.

"The Jeita Grotto is a medal of honor for Lebanon and has placed Lebanon on the global tourism map again."

Jeita, which is located in a river valley near the capital Beirut, is made up of two limestone caves, upper galleries and a lower cave through which an underground river runs.

Tourists can walk on a cement bridge through the palatial structure and view the glistening stalactites and stalagmites that formed over millennia by drops of water creating new pathways around rock too hard to dissolve.

The cave is about 33,000 feet long and has one of the biggest stalactites in the world, hanging 27 feet from the ceiling.

The Swiss-based non-profit organization New7Wonders Foundation is going to announce the new wonders of nature in 2011.

A panel of experts took part in nominating the initial batch of candidates, and online voters selected the finalists, with an estimated one billion voters to select the final seven on the site.


On the Net: