The two magnificent Jeita grottoes burrow deep into the earth within a beautiful green valley as cavities that are as old as the Stone Age. A river flows between the rocks inside the mountain and feeds the source of Nahr al-Kalb (the Dog’s River). Time and limestone water have sculpted fascinating stone draperies and natural wonders into puzzlingly-gorgeous shapes, some of which grow downwards and others upwards, defying gravity. The lower cave, discovered by American missionary Reverend William Thomson in 1837, was opened to the public in October 1958. The tunnels and vaults of the upper cavern were discovered in 1958, and opened in January 1969. Tours of the caves were halted during the Civil War. They were later renovated as part of the Ministry of Tourism’s initiative and reopened in 1996.