Baalbek is a Lebanese city located in the heart of the Bekaa Valley, surrounded by the eastern and western mountains of Lebanon. It is away from the capital of Beirut about 83 km, and can take about two hours to drive there. Baalbek is best known for its amazing 2,000 year-old Roman-era temples, said to be the largest temples ever built in Roman history. Historically Baalbek was known as Heliopolis (similar to the Egyptian city of the same name) due to the massive temple to Jupiter the Romans built, with some columns of it still visible and standing today. The temple compound also has an almost entirely preserved temple to Bacchus – the Roman god of wine – and a temple to Venus currently being renovated. Baalbek hosts a yearly festival at the temple compound that brings in artists from all over the region, and is worth seeing if you have the time.
You will also notice a huge Shiite mosque next to the Baalbek temple. This is the burial place and shrine of Sayyida Khawla, Imam Hussein’s daughter, and considered a very sacred place by Shiite Muslims. Baalbek has thousands of years of world history that you won’t want to miss. If you travel there in daylight hours, and stay within the populated tourist areas, you should have nothing to fear for safety, but watch out for the dozens of guys who will want to sell you t-shirts and antiques! They’re harmless but they do drive a hard bargain!
Must-See Places In Baalbek :