At the Cedars of Lebanon
… I could count at least 13 or 14 trees, not only huge ones like the biggest trees I have ever encountered during my long runs, but they were so big that many would reach six or seven meters in radius. Some, at a certain height, are divided into five or six main branches, which, emerging from the same stem, form, so to say, as many new implanted trees in the trunk. Their circumference is very big that two men could not embrace it. Their summit, proportioned to the immensity of their size, raises majestically towards the skies. They offer what seems like a vast dome of greenery, under which Christians have the pleasure of seeing altars raised towards the God they adore.
… The cedar of Lebanon is a tree that is repeatedly mentioned in Scriptures. Its elevation, lifespan, incorruptibility, fertility through which it bourgeoned on the mountains, all served as reference points for the qualities and virtues of the righteous person. The cedar is called the tree of God, Cedrus Dei. The temple of Solomon and the palace of this prince were made from cedar wood, and the size of the remaining trees can clearly show how and why this wood was the preferred one; it was either used in some of the sacred buildings, or to be placed in the walls matching their thickness and sometimes their height. The idolatry itself, had a high appreciation to the cedars and it was worthy to cross the precipices to see them. The cedars were also of use at the temples of its gods. Pliny narrates that the roof of the temple of Diana at Ephesus, was made from cedar wood; the ancients have made colossal statues from cedars.
Extract from Lamartine, A. d. (2000). Voyage en Orient. Paris: Honoré champion.