Jbail Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by zuyao
  • The archaeological site - Dec 09
    The archaeological site - Dec 09
    by MM212
  • Saint Jean-Marc & its open-air baptistry (Dec 09)
    Saint Jean-Marc & its open-air baptistry...
    by MM212

Best Rated Things to Do in Jbail

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    The harbour

    by MalenaN Written Apr 24, 2005

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    The harbour in Byblos

    The harbour might be one of the oldest in the world. From here the famous Lebanese cedar was shipped to other towns during ancient time.
    There are small fishing boats and a few boats for sightseeing. Around the harbour are some restaurants, cafés and a hotel.

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    Go swimming

    by MalenaN Updated Apr 24, 2005

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    Tam-Tam and Paradise

    Lebanon doesn’t have many public beaches. Just south of Jbail (Byblos) there are the sandy beaches Tam-Tam and Paradise.
    To go here from Beirut you can take a bus going north from Charles Helou Station and ask to be dropped at the beaches. From the highway there is a road going down the slope to the sea. From Byblos it is walking distance.

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    Byblos Archaeological Site

    by MM212 Updated Feb 7, 2011

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    The archaeological site - Dec 09

    Few places in the world, if any, display as many civilisations in one location as does Byblos. The city claims to be the longest continuously inhabited settlement in the world (as do Damascus, Aleppo and Jericho) and the archaeological site is the living proof, where each passing civilisation constructed over the ruins of its predecessor. The site is the primary attraction in Byblos, and with its location overlooking the Mediterranean, it is enjoyable to visit whether or not one is passionate about history and archaeology. However, while the history of Byblos and the site is most fascinating, the ruins are much less visual than other ancient ruins in Lebanon, such as Baalbek or Tyre. The reason is that each civilisation recycled the same stones to construct over the previous one, so reconstructing the ruins has been an impossible task. The site as we see it today is largely the work of French archaeologists who began to take interest in Byblos in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They have had to relocated some of the structures within the site to allow for deeper excavations. Hiring one of the multilingual guides is thus highly advisable for a better understanding of each of the ruins and its history.

    The structures in the site are described in more detail further down on this page, but for more photos of the site, check out the travelogue: "Byblos Archaeological Site".

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    New and old

    by MalenaN Written Apr 24, 2005

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    Old town of Byblos

    To the east of the highway is the modern town of Jbail. On the other side, on the slope down to the see, is the old picturesque town with small shops, the harbour and the archaeological site. Old Byblos is on UNESCOs World Heritage List.

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    The Crusader Castle

    by MalenaN Written Apr 24, 2005

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    The Crusader Castle in Byblos

    When you are going to explore the historical site the Crusader Castle is a good place to start at, as there is a beautiful view over the area and the sea from the roof.
    When the castle was built in the 12th century by the Franks blocks from the ancient temples were used.

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    View from the castle

    by MalenaN Written Apr 24, 2005

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    View over Byblos ancient site

    The squared foundation in the middle is the ruins of Temple of Baalat Gebal, which is the oldest temple at Byblos. It is from the 4th millennium BC. The temple was important until Roman times.
    Close to the sea there is a house built during the Ottoman period.

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    Byblos Fishing Club

    by iwys Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This is one of the most famous restaurants in Lebanon. It overlooks picturesque Byblos harbour. It is here that, in the 1960s, celebrities, like Jacques Chirac, David Niven, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and Brigitte Bardot used to come to eat. It was closed when I was there, so I had to eat next door at Bab el-Mina, which is a similar harbourside restaurant.

    Pepe came to Lebanon, from Mexico, in the 1950s. He is now in his 90s.

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    Byblos - The Town

    by MM212 Updated Feb 7, 2011

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    Mediaeval Byblos - March 2005
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    One of the few towns in Lebanon to have conserved its traditional character, Jbail (Byblos) is a beauty. The walled old city consists of charming narrow streets lined with mediaeval stone architecture, red-tiled roofs and Roman columns. These roads descend to the ancient harbour and its numerous outdoor cafés and seafood restaurants. A visit to the Byblos archaeological site is best followed by a stroll in the town and a drink or a meal by the harbour.

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    Eglise Saint Jean-Marc

    by MM212 Updated Feb 7, 2011

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    Saint Jean-Marc & its open-air baptistry (Dec 09)
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    A beautiful Romanesque church, Eglise Saint Jean-Marc is the cathedral church of Jbail (Byblos), a town with a majority 80% Christian population. The church is dedicated to Saint John Mark, the patron saint of the town, who is said to have founded the first Christian community of Byblos. The church itself was built in 1115 AD by the Crusaders, originally as the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. After their departure, earthquakes, invasions and other disasters have repeatedly damaged the structure, and for a few centuries it remained disused. In 1764, Emir Youssef Chéhab, of the Druze dynasty that ruled a semi-autonomous Lebanon under the Ottomans, donated the church to l'Ordre Libanais Maronite (Lebanese Maronite Order) which subsequently restored and reopened it in 1776 after re-dedicating it to Saint John Mark. British bombardments of Lebanon in 1840 caused further damage, but the church was restored yet again. Eglise Saint Jean-Marc continues to serve the Maronite Christian community. One interesting feature in the church is its open-air domed baptistry on the northern side (see attached photo) which dates from the original construction in 1115 AD. The church is situated on Rue du Port, between the port and the archaeological area.

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    Crusader Castle

    by iwys Updated Apr 2, 2007

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    Raymond St Gilles built the castle after he captured Byblos in 1104. He used stones from the Roman ruins in its construction. The castle finally fell to Beybars in 1266. It is a solid, compact structure, measuring just 44m by 49.5m. There was orginally a moat around the castle, but this was drained by the Ottoman Turks, who used the building as stables for their horses.

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    Mosque of Sultan Abdel Majid

    by MM212 Updated Feb 7, 2011

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    Blue dome of Mosque of Sultan Abdel Majid (Dec 09)
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    This Ottoman-era mosque is thought to have been built on the site of an older mosque. The structure dates from 1648 and was renovated in 1783 by Emir Youssef Chéhab, yet it carries the name of the 19th century Ottoman Sultan Abdel Majid (Abdülmecid in Turkish). The small mosque has a large blue cupola and an octagonal minaret (the cupola had been white in 2005, but was repainted blue by 2009). About 20% or less of Jbail's population is Moslem nowadays, so mosques tend to be smaller in size and number. The Mosque of Sultan Abdel Majid is located within the mediaeval city walls, just outside the archaeological site.

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    The Ruins

    by iwys Updated Apr 5, 2007

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    Byblos contends with Aleppo and Damascus for the title of oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. But, there are remains of almost every stage of its long history in the ruins, which surround the Crusader castle. The sign has informative signs and maps in English.

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    Roman Colonnade (extra muros)

    by MM212 Updated Feb 7, 2011

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    Roman colonnade on Rue Jbail (Dec 09)

    The remains of a once-magnificent Roman colonnade are visible along Rue Jbail, outside the mediaeval city walls. Many of these columns with their Corinthian capitals are still intact and stand upright. The colonnade was once part of a grand avenue that led directly to the heart of the ancient city of Byblos. Nowadays, Rue Jbail traces the same path and leads directly towards the old city and the archaeological site. In fact, traces of the colonnade can also be seen just north of the Crusader Castle, within the Archaeological site.

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    Church of St. John the Baptist

    by iwys Updated Apr 2, 2007

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    This church was built in Romanesque style, during the Crusader occupation, in 1115. When I visited, there was a concert for peace being broadcast live on Lebanese TV, which I sat down and watched.

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    The archaeological site

    by MalenaN Written Apr 24, 2005

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    The archaeological site in Byblos

    The entrance fee to the archaeological site is 6000 LL (June 2002). Here there is a Crusader Castle, an Ottoman House and several ancient ruins of temples and a Roman theatre. The site lies beautifully by the see.

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    • Archeology
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Jbail Things to Do

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