Moussa Maamari, the man who singlehandedly built the castle of his dreams known as Moussa Castle, passed away yesterday at 87 years of age.
Moussa Castle, located on a hill between Deir El Kamar and Beiteddine, had its first parts built and open to the public in 1967 but was only officially complete when the final part was done few year ago in 2012. The story behind the castle is both funny and inspiring since Moussa Maamari built it with his own hands just because he was mocked by his teacher at school for drawing a castle plan and by the girl he had crush on for expressing his feeling toward her.
At 14 years old in 1945, Maamari (originally Syrian) left his school and came all the way from Tartous to Saida to work with his uncle who was involved in renovating the city’s caste. And after several years of hard work between several jobs, he saved enough money to get married and buy a plot of land to build the castle of his dreams between 1962 and 1967.
The best part of the whole thing is that he insisted to show what he did to the girl who mocked him when he was young, so he kep searching for her over the years until he managed to make her visit the castle in 2009, and he made sure to make her get into it through the smallest door in order for her to kneel before him.
The castle is currently one of the main attractions in the Chouf area and is of course accessible to the public, with several museums inside housing a large collection of weapons and artifacts showing the life of Lebanese people in the past.