Thursday, February 02, 2006

Lebanon Excursion: Baalbek

UNESCO description of Baalbek:

This Phoenician city, where a triad of deities was worshipped, was known as Heliopolis during the Hellenistic period. It retained its religious function during Roman times, when the sanctuary of the Heliopolitan Jupiter attracted thousands of pilgrims. Baalbek, with its colossal structures, is one of the finest examples of Imperial Roman architecture at its apogee. (

I recalled a scene from the movie "Gladiator" where the black gladiator said to Maximus: " I cannot believe this is built by humans!" or something to that effect. They were staring at the Roman colosseum which they were about to enter. I probably felt the same when I visited the massive Roman temple complex of Baalbek.
The once proud Roman architecture now stands in ruins, damaged by time, nature and man
A glimpse of its former glory - some parts of architecture are still relatively well preserved
Of the 54 columns that used to hold the Temple of Jupiter, only 6 remained erect. (Suggestion: New idea for Singapore government's logo for Total Defence? =P)
Temple of Bacchus (god of wine) is extremely well-preserved.

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