A trip to Baalbeck in Lebanon is included in major travel tours around the country. It is the site of Lebanon’s most cherished Roman temples. The town is considered as one of the greatest wonders of the world.
Location and How to Get to This Specific Site
The site is located in the Valley of Bekaa. It is to the east of the Litani River at an altitude of 3,840 ft. Buses from Beirut can take you to the site. Most of these buses are at the Cola intersection. Those in Homs, Syria can take the coach stations and cross to Lebanon in al-Qa’a.
What to See There
Some of the most famous sites in the area are the Temple of Bacchus, ruins of Baalbeck, the Great Court and the Temple of Venus. However, its most impressive feature is the Temple of Jupiter.
A trip to Baalbeck in Lebanon is best appreciated by knowing a bit of its history. Evidence shows that the site was first settled in 9,000 years ago. However, it was rarely mentioned in ancient texts. Many researchers believe it was an insignificant city in Phoenicia. Egyptian and Assyrian records make no mention of it.
After the city was conquered by Alexander the Great, it became known as Heliopolis. It would become the place of worship for Baal / Jupiter devotees. The temple built during the time of Septimus Severus’ reign (193-211 AD) would become the largest in the Empire.
Bus fares cost LL 5,000. If you traveling from Syria, the bus or coach ride will cost about US$10. A guided couch tour will cost at least USD$70. This price range will allow you to go on tour for a few days. The entrance fee to the Baalbeck ruins is LL 12000.
The International Festival takes place every summer. The event features local artists as well as international performers. Not far from the site are shops where you can buy some antiques and relics. Make sure to ask for an authenticity certificate.
While you are on a trip to Baalbeck in Lebanon, don’t forget to sample the “Namoura bel Ashta” pastry. It is one of the most popular treats in Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.