As of 1860,German missions were established in the Levant region. One of the important achievements of these German Protestant missions was that of the Saint Jean de Beyrouth Hospital, managed by the Order of St. John of Kaiserswerth.
At the end of the First World War, France saw itself afforded a mandate over the part of the Ottoman Empire that today regroups Lebanon and Syria. Thus, France “inherited” the Saint Jean Hospital, under the auspices of “damages of war.” It was then converted into a French Military Hospital.
This hospital today is the principle building of ESA.
When the French military troops left Lebanon, upon the advent of Independence in 1943, the location changed definitively, to house the French Chancellery and the entirety of its services until 1983, at which point the French diplomatic services were moved to Mar Takla, a suburb of Beirut.
In 1995, the Lebanese and French governments decided to establish an important training and education center, aimed at executives in Lebanon and the region, and the Clemenceau site was chosen to house ESA.