President Michel Suleiman and PM Najib Miqati arrived at Jeita Grotto on Thursday in support of the national campaign to vote for the cave to become one of the new seven wonders of nature.
They were welcomed by the Minister of Tourism Fady Abboud and the chief of Jeita Municipality Samir Baroud, as well as the head of the Jeita Mayor Association.
Suleiman said: “God gave us this gift and I urge the people to preserve the environment.”
He called on them to vote heavily for the grotto, saying that the national campaign needs the support of the media and Lebanese living outside the country.
The president was given the key to the town of Jeita by Baroud and toured the cave with the PM and the accompanying delegation.
The natural site is a candidate for the new Seven Natural Wonders competition.
The initiative, organized by the New7Wonders Foundation, started in 2007 to create a list of seven natural wonders chosen by people through a global poll.
Jeita Grotto is a compound of crystallized caves in Lebanon located 20 km north of Beirut in the Valley of Nahr al-Kalb.
This grotto is made up of two limestone caves, upper galleries, and a lower cave through which a 6230 m long river runs.
Geologically, the caves provide a tunnel or escape route for the underground river.
In this cave and galleries, the action of water in the limestone has created cathedral-like vaults full of various sizes, colors and shapes of stalactites and stalagmites, majestic curtains and fantastic rock formations.
The total length of the cave is more than 9,000 m and it includes one of the biggest stalactites in the world, hanging at 8.20 m.
The grotto accommodates a huge hall with a distance of 108 m from the ceiling to the water level.
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