This site is located in the northern
part of the fertile plain of Bekaa; categorized in UNESCO's world cultural heritage
sites as being in a high degree of preservation.
The city of
has been founded in Phoenician times as a place of worship to Baal, the
Phoenician Sun God. Later on during the Hellenistic
empire, (333- 64 BC) the city has been called Helliopolis, that mean the
City of the Sun. But it’s in the 47 BC, that the Baalbeck reached its
golden age, when Julius Caesar made it as a Roman colony, because of two
major facts, first it's one of the major agricultural providers of the
eastern part of the
. And because it's strategic location along the major east-west and
north-south trading routes.
Baalbeck has been selected to be
constructing the largest religious temples in their empire. 200 years of
Roman successions (60 BC- 150BC) emperors establish the construction of
the magnificent and impressive temples to honor the Roman trinity:
Jupiter, Venus and Mercury.
can follow the majestic Roman entry; walk through the two large colonnaded
courtyards to reach the complex's of the great temples. The site is made
by three major temples. These temples are Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus. The
is the largest Roman temple ever constructed. Just six columns remain
standing of the original 54 Corinthian columns. Each column is 22 meters
high and 2 meters in diameter. What gave the temple a real huge impact
is a Roman temple, smaller then the
; it's the best preserved Roman temple in the
. A bit more far, you still can see up on the hills of Sheikh Abdullah,
. During the Byzantine period, the temples have been transformed into
churches and basilicas. For example the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius tore
down the altars of the
and built a basilica using the temple's stones and architectural
The remains of this basilica can still be seen near the stairway of the
. During the Arab conquests, the temple were fortified, and transformed
into a castle, and has been given the Arabian name of “Qalaa” wish
mean the fortress.
Later on during the 8th century, the Umayyad constructed a great mosque,
and it can be seen in front of acropolis entrance.
excavations of the 19th century, reconstructed what has been destroyed
during the earthquakes. German, French and Lebanese archaeologists have
conserved what we can see now. The view of the site can give you what used
to look the Helliopolis of the ancient time.
And if you are going to
in the summer, Baalbeck's festival is worth visiting.
Magic in the air and romance is
everywhere. The festivals of Baalbeck give you a
right destination to over come all
the stress giving you one way ticket to meet the pleasures of life and
eternal beauty of music.