National Museum of Beirut
Exhibit © american_rugbier
The National Museum of Beirut - located in Museum Street, in the heart of the city - has a history that is almost as interesting as that of the artefacts it houses. In 1975, during the Lebanese Civil War, the museum stood on the demarcation line between the warring factions and suffered extensive damage to its Egyptian Revival-styled building - and would have had many of its treasures destroyed had it not been for heroic pre-emptive measures undertaken by a committed group of individuals.
These days, the museum - which spreads over three floors - is renowned for its collection of ancient Phoenician objects; as well as its beautifully-organised exhibitions of artefacts from the area, which take the visitor on a journey from prehistoric times, through the Bronze and Iron Ages, to the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and medieval Malmuk Periods. Affordable and fascinating, the National Museum of Beirut is a wonderful way to spend an hour or two, soaking up the considerable antiquity of the region.
Address: Museum Street, Beirut