The Balamand Monastery (historically called Belmont, Bellimontis ultra Mare, or Bellus-Mons), is an Antiochian Eastern-Orthodox monastery founded in 1157 in Balamand (Belmont), the Crusader County of Tripoli, now in the Koura District, in Northern Lebanon. It was originally started by Cistercian monks and maintained as such until the Mamluk conquest in 1289, then reestablished as monastery by Greek Orthodox monks in 1610, after a poorly documented period of three centuries.
On the grounds of the monastery has been established the University of Balamand, founded by the Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch in 1988, though the university claims to be secular and a distinct institution.
Local legend in Lebanon reports that when Bohemond VII of Antioch escaped Latakia after it was taken by Qalawun in 1287, he hid in the village of Toula, Batroun, in the Northern Lebanese mountains. Legend has it that he lived there for a while, and produced offspring, from which the Prince, Conte, Zeeni and Aboujaoude families claim descent.[according to whom?] The Balamand Monastery in Batroun is reputed a gift of the Prince's family,[according to whom?] and now hosts the major University of Balamand, Balamand being a local adaptation of Bohemond.
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