Mystery and history are around every corner in Lebanon. It is really astounding to think about how many pieces of the human puzzle are contained in that tiny country. One of the most impressive historical sites is what my niece used to call as small child ‘the broken house’
Baalbek, Baalbak, ancient Heliopolis, are names attributed to one of Lebanon’s greatest Roman treasures, and one of the ancient wonders of the world. Baalbek is on of the largest sanctuaries that stood as evidence to the great wealth and power of the Roman Empire at the time. The hill that the monumental remains stand on is known to have been settled for over 9000 years. After the time of Alexander the great, the sanctuary was named Heliopolis (city of the sun), and in its Jupiter temple, Trajan the Roman emperor consulted the oracle wether he would come back alive after his war against the Parthians.The god answered him with a vine shoot cut into pieces…
The complex contains the remains of the temple of Jupiter, Venus, and Bacchus. On a nearby hill is a 4th temple dedicated to Mercury. Other minor structures were added by Nero and Trajan.
As a world heritage site, today Baalbak hosts every year a great arts and music festival.