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Baalbek

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Lebanon : Baalbek
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Baalbek

Baalbek banner.jpg

Baalbek is located in the Bekaa Valley, not far from Syrian border. Apart from the spectacular Roman ruins, Baalbek is famous from being a Hezbollah headquater.

Understand[edit]

Baalbek بَعلبَك is the most spectacular archaeological site in Lebanon. Baalbeck or 'Heliopolis' as it was known is the site of great ancient temples built by the Phoenicians, the Romans, and other civilisations that have conquered the region and enjoyed the fertile soil of the Bekaa Valley. Some of the most celebrated temples are the ones of Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, and Jupiter, the Roman god of light, of the sky and weather.


Get in[edit]

Bus[edit]

Buses to Baalbek from Beirut leave the Cola intersection frequently and cost LL6,000. The buses are not marked and are usually of capacity for 8-10 people. It will stop several times on the way, and don't forget to take a sweater because the trip over the mountain can be significantly colder than Beirut. You will probably be then left at a road, around 2 km away from the attraction. There are unmarked taxis from there driving to the site for LL 2,000. Do not be overly suspicious if cars stop and you are asked to come in, it is normal. During the summer season daily tours are available from Beirut to Baalbeck from most major hotels; tour operator Nakhal has a guided coach tour several days a week for USD$70. The trip takes about two hours each way.

It is possible to travel from Homs in Syria to Baalbek by bus. Buses leave from the Karnak or Luxury coach stations in Homs and cross into Lebanon at al-Qa'a, arriving soon thereafter at Baalbek. Cost is about USD$10.

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

Visiting in the ruins of Baalbeck cost 12 000 L.L.

  • Temple of Bacchus (Small Temple).  edit
  • 1st century A.D.
  • Great Court.  edit
  • Temple of Venus.  edit
  • Hexagonal Forecourt.  edit


Do[edit]

  • Hajar al-Hubla. When you visit Baalbeck, be sure to drop by Abd an-Nabi al-Afi, the fellow who is caretaker to possibly the largest cut stone to be found anywhere on Earth (Hajar al-Hubla). He's working hard to clean up the environment a little bit, and he even offers tours of the area. Ask him to take you to the cafe up on the hill for an evening view of the valley.  edit

Events[edit]

  • Every summer the Baalbeck International Festivals offers great peformances from local and international artists. In the past peformers ranged from Sting, Vanessa Mae and Phil Collins to plays by the celebrated Lebanese Rahbani brothers.

Buy[edit]

Do not buy antiquities here, as they are most likely fake. This is the center of the fake coin industry. Insist on a certificate of authenticity, and pay by credit card and keep your receipt. At least then you can charge back the dealer when you learn you have been deceived.

You will probably also be touted some yellow Hezbullah T-shirts while you are at Baalbeck, as it is the birthplace of that party. If you choose to buy one beware: these T-shirts will self-destruct in the laundry, losing all of their green ink in the wash. That aside, they are an interesting souvenir. They should only cost 1000 LL, not the 15,000 LL you will be touted. That's is you intend to support this armed group. (Better not wearing the T-shirt anywhere in Lebanon anyway)

Eat[edit]

Evey summer Thers is out door shesha bars, they also serve drinks dessert dinner lunch breakfest.

you can eat also Safiha Baalbakya,,,its soo famous,,1 KG will cost u like 20$ max

Close to the site (2 min walk to the left) at a corner there is a bar with some food, and free wifi. Good place to relax from the visit to the site.

Pastries[edit]

Oriental pastries are offered by Patisserie Jawhari, there you can find traditional sweet food from Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. The most famous sweet selled is called " Namoura bel Ashta" which stands for Namoura with Cream. This cream is extracted from fresh boiling milk. More pastries are found including the famous Knefe and Beqlawa.

Sleep[edit]

There are much better places to spend the night!

Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]

Don't approach the Syrian border.

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