Landmarks in Lebanon

Landmarks in Lebanon

Go on a group tour through Lebanon, a country in the Middle East on the Mediterranean Sea. This country is divided into four landscape zones that run parallel to the coast: the narrow, steep coastline, the rugged Lebanon mountains, the fertile Bekaa plain and the dry Antilebanon mountain range and Hermon. Visit the most important cities of Lebanon, such as the capital Beirut with the Grottes aux Pignons, Martyrs Square and Grande Mosque or the Place de l´Etoile; the city of Tripoli, the capital of Northern Lebanon; Zahlé with the Wadi El-Aarayesh (Valley of Wine) or the city of Sidon with the sea fortress or the coast. Let yourself be enchanted by a study tour through Lebanon!

Deir el Qamar

a jewel of Arab architecture in Lebanon

45 kilometers southeast of the Lebanese capital Beirut, at an altitude of 850 meters above sea level, there is a jewel of Arab architecture and one of the most beautiful villages in the country: Deir el Qamar. It can be translated as “Monastery of the Moon” and was once the spiritual center of the Emirate of Mount Lebanon. The roots of the mosque, which is well worth seeing, go back to the middle of the 15th century.

Secluded parks and fragrant gardens

According to topschoolsintheusa, Deir el Qamar has kept the traditional style of the previous century. Probably also because it is remote on a mountain slope, embedded in the forests of the Chouf. The streets of the city are still paved with their original cobblestones and the residents pride themselves on their secluded parks and fragrant gardens. The respective governors of the country resided here between the 16th and 18th centuries.

Wax figures in an Arab palace

The most important buildings of the city are grouped around a central square in Deir el Qamar – including the mosque from the time of the former ruler Fakhr ed-Din I from the beginning of the 16th century. The historical palace of the Fakhr ed-Din II, which was influenced by Egyptian architectural styles and is reminiscent of Arab palaces, is worth seeing. Today a private museum with seventy wax figures is housed here.

A stroll through cultural history

A stroll through Deir el Qamar is synonymous with a stroll through the cultural history of Lebanon. Winding alleys and stairways lead up to the beautiful town houses of the town, which has long been known for its harmonious coexistence of different denominations. The synagogue, which was completed in 1638 but is closed today, is well preserved. One of the religious sights of Christianity in Deir el Qamar is the Saydet at-Tella church, which is dedicated to the miraculous Virgin. This place of worship was built on the ruins of a Phoenician temple for the goddess Venus.

Baalbek temple complex

Before Syria was hit by a bloody civil war, the temple complex of Baalbek was considered the largest archaeological attraction in Lebanon. But the Bekaa plain, lapped by the Asi and Litani rivers, is located in the vicinity of Syria, so that a visit to the monumental evidence of the Roman era was discouraged for a long period of time. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most important sacred monuments in the Middle East.

Heliopolis – the city of the sun god

Baalbek, the ancient Heliopolis, was the city of Baal and was probably a sacred place as early as the Babylonian and Phoenician times. The Greeks worshiped the sun god here. The ruins of the earlier temples were built in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. The temple from Roman times dedicated to Baccus is an impressive structure and has withstood conflagrations and earthquakes surprisingly well. It was fifty meters long and a little more than 33 meters wide, but in ancient times it was exceeded in size by the neighboring Parthenon temple.

A fire destroyed the temple of Jupiter

The state of Lebanon once acknowledged two landmarks – the cedar tree and the six pillars of the Temple of Jupiter in Baalbek. The twenty meter high monument can be seen from afar, was built in the Corinthian style and was almost 70 m long and 35 m wide. Originally it was surrounded by 42 mighty columns. The Jupiter Heliopolitanus was apparently destroyed by a conflagration in the sixth century AD.

The gigantic “stone of the pregnant woman”

Scientists are still puzzling as to how it was possible at that time to move such huge stones to build the sanctuaries of Baalbek. The largest building block in the world was discovered not far from the temple complex a few years ago. The cuboid weighs around 1650 tons and thus exceeds the so-called “stone of the pregnant woman”, which protrudes from the ground like a halfway sunken ship and weighs around a thousand tons. Both stones were to be transported to the temple district, eight hundred meters away.

Baalbek temple complex, Lebanon

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