The Beiteddine palace was built between 1788 and 1818 by Emir Beshir Shehab II. Architecturally the palace is divided into three sections: Dar el Baraniyyeh or the outer section of the palace, Dar el Wousta or the middle section, and Dar el Harim or the private apartments that included the hammam. It remained the emir’s residence until his exile in 1840. The edifice was reused by the Ottoman authorities as a seat of government and later during the French Mandate it served for the local administrative purposes. Lebanon’s General Directorate of Antiquities started restoration work on the palace in 1926 and it was declared a historical monument in 1934. After Lebanon gained its independence in 1943 the palace became the summer residence of the president of the republic.