Facts and Data
Unesco World heritage since: 1984
Size of heritage:
This Phoenician city, where a triad of deities was worshipped, was known as Heliopolis during the Hellenistic period. It retained its religious function during Roman times, when the sanctuary of the Heliopolitan Jupiter attracted thousands of pilgrims. Baalbek, with its colossal structures, is one of the finest examples of Imperial Roman architecture at its apogee.
Location on Map
Show bigger map on Openstreetmap
Baalbek, located in the City and District of Baalbek in the Beqaa Governorate of Lebanon, is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its ancient ruins. This archaeological complex is a testament to the rich history and cultural significance of the region. Baalbek's origins date back to the Phoenician period, and it later became a Roman city, leaving behind an impressive collection of well-preserved structures.
The history of Baalbek can be traced back over 5,000 years. Originally a Phoenician settlement dedicated to the worship of Baal, the city gained prominence during the Hellenistic period under the rule of the Seleucids. However, it was during the Roman era that Baalbek reached its zenith. The Romans transformed the city into a grand religious center, constructing monumental temples dedicated to Jupiter, Bacchus, and Venus.
The construction of Baalbek's most iconic structure, the Temple of Jupiter, began in the 1st century AD and continued for several centuries. The temple complex was built using colossal stones, some weighing over 1,000 tons, making it one of the largest religious structures of the ancient world. The Temple of Bacchus, dedicated to the Roman god of wine, is another remarkable structure within the site. Its intricate design and well-preserved state have earned it the title of one of the best-preserved Roman temples in the world.
Despite the passage of time and various conflicts in the region, Baalbek has managed to retain much of its grandeur. The site is now a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the world who come to marvel at its architectural splendor and historical significance.
However, the ongoing political instability in Lebanon has posed challenges for the preservation and maintenance of Baalbek. The site has occasionally been affected by nearby conflicts, leading to temporary closures and limited access. Nevertheless, efforts have been made to ensure the protection and conservation of this invaluable heritage site.
UNESCO has played a crucial role in safeguarding Baalbek, recognizing its outstanding universal value and including it on the World Heritage List in 1984. The organization has provided technical assistance and financial support for the preservation and restoration of the site. These efforts have included measures to stabilize the structures, prevent further deterioration, and enhance visitor experiences through improved infrastructure and interpretation.
Today, visitors to Baalbek can explore the vast archaeological complex, marvel at the grand temples, and wander through the ancient streets. The site offers a glimpse into the architectural prowess of the ancient world and provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich history of the region.
Baalbek, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Lebanon, stands as a testament to the ancient civilizations that once thrived in the region. Its well-preserved temples and ruins offer a glimpse into the grandeur of the Roman era. Despite the challenges posed by political instability, Baalbek continues to captivate visitors with its historical significance and architectural marvels. Efforts to preserve and protect this invaluable heritage site ensure that future generations can appreciate and learn from its rich cultural legacy.
Hotels and places to stay
Videos from the area
Videos provided by Youtube are under the copyright of their owners.
Large airport - 43 mi (70 km) Damascus International Airport
Large airport - 45 mi (73 km) Kiryat Shmona Airport
Small airport - 65 mi (105 km) Ben Ya'akov Airport
Medium airport - 80 mi (129 km) Bassel Al-Assad International Airport
Large airport - 97 mi (157 km) Haifa International Airport
Medium airport - 106 mi (172 km) King Hussein Air College
Small airport - 114 mi (184 km) Amman-Marka International Airport
Medium airport - 141 mi (228 km) Queen Alia International Airport
Large airport - 158 mi (255 km) Ben Gurion International Airport
Large airport - 158 mi (254 km)
Bigger and popular cities in the wider vicinity are these:
- Ad Dimas
- Al Mulayhah
- Al Qutayfah
- An Nabk
- At Tall
- Az Zabadani
- El Hermel
- Kafr Batna
- Sir ed Danniye
- `Assal al Ward
- `Ayn al Fijah
These are some smaller cities that might be interesting. They are all rather close.