Temples of Baalbek
Baalbek Temple Complex © upyernoz
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temple complex found at Baalbek - a small town in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, just 53 miles (86km) from Beirut - is regarded as the world's finest surviving example of Imperial Roman architecture.
An ancient area, rich in history - it was known as Heliopolis ('City of the Sun') during the Hellenistic Period - the towering, intricately-carved monuments of Baalbek continue to amaze and delight visitors to the region. Even for non-history buffs, a visit to the acropolis at Baalbek is deeply fascinating - representing a confluence of exquisitely-preserved Greco-Roman architecture built over the course of two centuries.
Consisting of 24 monoliths, numerous religious structures, and the grand Temple of Jupiter (surrounded by 20-metre-tall columns), the temples of Baalbek are an essential inclusion in any Lebanese travel itinerary. Moreover, the town of Baalbek - home to only 72,000 permanent residents - is a wonderful place to stop over and rest for a few days on your Middle Eastern adventure.