TEMPLE OF JUPITER
Favorite thing: Once a massive structure, all that is left of the great TEMPLE OF JUPITER are the six Corinthian columns. You have to wonder how they have stood for so long. They stand on a wall which is fifty feet in height. This remaining wall forms the southern wall of the original structure.
In the accompanying picture, you will see a little LoriPori in the lower left part of the photo which was taken in August, 1969.
THE CITY OF THE SUN
Favorite thing: Located in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon BAALBECK is famous for its temple ruins of the Roman period when Baalbeck or BAALBEK was known as Heliopolis "the city of the sun". It is Lebanon's greatest Roman Treasure, containing some of the largest and best preserved Roman ruins. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984
The town Baalbek is about 85 km (53 miles) northeast of Beirut.
I visited this area in August of 1969 when on a cruise of the Mediterranean Sea. Beirut was one of our ports-of-call and Baalbeck and the Byblos Ruins was a side-trip we made.
N.B.The photos here are digital pics of my original "1969" pics. I don't know any other way to do it as I don't have a scanner.
TEMPLE OF BACCHUS
Favorite thing: Dedicated to Bacchus, the Roman God of wine, THE TEMPLE OF BACCHUS is also referred to as the "Temple of the Sun".
Considered as one of the best preserved Roman Temples in the world. Its walls are adorned by 42 Corinthian Columns, 19 of which remain upright.
Though less famous, it is larger that the Parthenon in Greece
in the good old days...
Favorite thing: Baalbeck was very different from what it looks today. Built originally as a temple dedicated to the God Baal, or else the God of the Sun, it then became known to the Greeks as Heliopolis - again the city of the sun - and built a temple to the God Jupiter. Heliopolis became Julia Augusta Felix under Julius Caesar and the Romans, who added new temples.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory is the cult associated with these temples: the sun, and more in general nature, were venerated here. Sacrifices often took place, as well as sacred sexual rituals: there were even sacred prostitutes un the temples.
Have a look at the photo on the left to see how the temple complex would have looked like in its hey-days.
baalbeck: operation shock and awe
Favorite thing: Forget the US airforces in Iraq in2003: the real "operaton shock and awe" is something else: much older and more effective. After thousands of years, visiting the temples in Baalbeck is an experience which still leaves you speechless, breathless... awed! They were a political statement: they were built in huge size to "shock and awe" the local populations, and to convert them to their religion (paganism).
Fondest memory: As I said the size: hard to describe unless you visit. You will feel like a Lilliputian in the Land of GIants, there: my friend (1.86 metres tall) stood by the base of a fallen column: it was much broader than his height. In term of Roman ruins I believe that Baalbeck far surpasses the splendour of Rome.
Favorite thing: Walking between the ruins you can't hardly imagine, how the temple complex really had looked like in the former days.
Only the Bacchus Temple has survived earthquakes, damages by wars and vandalism. So I liked to have found a drawing of a reconstruction of the complex.
After enlarging the picture you can see very clear at the right side the stairs to the propylaea and the propylaea, in the middle the Great Court, at top the Jupiter Temple and at the left the Bacchus Temple.
- Historical Travel
Map of ruins Baalbeck
Favorite thing: At the entrance of the tempelcomplex of Baalbeck is a map available. It makes it easy to find your way and to recognise the different parts of the complex.
On the map you see very well the sexagonal first court and the Great Court leading to the great Jupiter Tempel.
And also you can see how large the temple of Jupiter must have been in comparision with the Bacchus temple at the left side of the map.
- Historical Travel
The roman ruins in Baalbeck
Favorite thing: The must see for tourist in Lebanon`s Bekaa valley are for sure the roman Ruins in Baalbeck.
You`ll find there a huge temple, which survived quite well the last 2000 years.
It is easy to reach Baalbeck comming from Beirut, as there are regular Buses ore shared Taxis. You can visit the ruins comming from Beirut in a one day trip.
The Bekaa valley itself is well worth the trip, as it is a beautiful green valley, surrounded by arid hills. Very picturesque!
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