Stunning ruins

Baalbek Travel Blog

 › entry 566 of 658 › view all entries
Baalbek ruins illuminated at night
People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia)

I must confess that Lebanon is probably one of the most disappointing countries that i have encountered. Now don't get me wrong, its a nice place and with the exception of the minivan and taxi drivers, the people are very kind, helpful and friendly. But i really had expected more in terms of the sites, most of which i found a touch dull and repetitive. At this point though, i must state that this feeling partially comes from the fact that i have seen so many Roman ruins over the past 4 months, that it would have taken something pretty spectacular to make me gasp in awe - so thank God we saved Baalbek until last!

Coming from the warmth of the coastal town of Tripoli, we were in for a shock when we arrived into Baalbek at 17.
Roman writing on a stone at Baalbek
00 on Tuesday, as it was freezing. Exiting the minivan, i quickly put on a couple of extra layers, and the pair of us scurried off to find a suitable Hotel. The first two that we checked out cost 30,000LL ($20), the third was full, but the fourth one, called Al-Shams cost 18,000LL ($12) and seemed adequate for one night. Another plus of the hotel were the rooftop views, with vistas over the illuminated ruins, which would have been nice to savour, if it hadn't been so bloody cold!

As we were only staying one night, we opted to go out and take a gander at the Roman ruins whilst they were lit up, and then found a really good sandwich shop that was rustling up beef and fish baguettes. Returning home i took the opportunity to catch up with my blog and after making some good progress, i was horrified and dumbstruck when my computer crashed and wouldn't work work anymore.
Great Court at Baalbek
Several weeks later i am still at a loss with whats happened, but i can't find anyone to fix it :( Booooo for Asus!!!

I wasn't feeling too great on Wednesday as our room had been terribly cold in the night and the saggy bed had left me with a bad back - i guess you normally get what you pay for! My mood was immeasurably improved by a trip to the sandwich shop from the previous evening and this gave me the energy for our day of sightseeing. The first ruins that we saw in the town were the Temple of Venus, which were located just across from the main site. There were plenty of touts here, selling all kinds of rubbish, from 'genuine' Roman coins to Hezbollah T-shirts, which i am sure wouldn't go down too well in Israel!

Entrance to Baalbek is normally 12,000LL ($8), but when i showed our ISIC cards we were let in for 7,000 ($4.
Temple of Jupiter and a carved lion water feature, at Baalbek
66), even though there was no menton of a student discount on the price list. It goes to show that its always worth asking! Entering the site, the first building that you come across is the Forecourt and Propylaea and this then leads on to the Hexagonal Court. The largest section of the complex is the Great Court, which has the Temple of Juipter behind it and the Temple of Bacchus to the left. Scattered around the base of the Temples were plenty of carved stones and several impressive lion heads.

We climbed up to the Temple of Jupiter to make a closer inspection of the six remaining columns, before going across to the incredibly well preserved Temple of Bacchus. Most of the original columns are still standing here, and there were lots of ornate carvings in the roof and wall and also a very decorative one on the keystone.
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
Inside the Temple was a small Museum that we had a brief look around, and then we went to the main Museum to view a very nice collection of artifacts that had been recovered from the site.

Leaving the ruins we went in search of some lunch, but there was a distinct lack of eating options, so we ended back in the same sandwich shop. Having collected our bags from the Hotel we went and caught a minivan to the town of Zahle (3000LL/$2) and then a service taxi to Damascus (300SYP/$6.50 per person). As always the taxi driver was a complete arsehole and sensing some easy money decided to tell me that i had to share the front seat with another man. As we had been the first people in the taxi, i said i would therefore rather sit on one of the backseats, but nobody would move around, so we told him that we would just use the next taxi.
Cherry blossom in front of the Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
This was annoying as we had already waited for an hour, but what made it even worse was that he ended up leaving with just one guy in the front seat! If i never see another Lebanese taxi driver, it will be too soon

Exiting Lebanon was pretty painless and getting into Syria was no problem either, although it was annoying to have to pay $52 for me and $20 for Julia again, as we were only planning on spending a couple of days in the country. I can't say that i will be in any hurry to head back to Lebanon, although maybe i will return with a large amount of money to experience Beirut's nightlife - but i doubt it.
kikomanzoni says:
txs for sharing! nice pics:) hope i' ll take some of balbeek next month:) all the best!
Posted on: Aug 16, 2011
Deats says:
Hopefully have the photos in next day or two. I hate taxi drivers so much, i really do. I know there is the occasional good ones, but today i encountered a few and they were all arseholes again. Must be something in the water!
Posted on: Mar 26, 2009
sylviandavid says:
We always have trouble with cabbies too..... It is annoying to be cheated by anyone but somehow cabbies make it sting more... I am looking forward to the temple of Jupiter and Temple of Bacchus pictures... be safe .... (Hey, Julia...xoxox... :) ...) sylvia
Posted on: Mar 25, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Baalbek ruins illuminated at night
Baalbek ruins illuminated at night
Roman writing on a stone at Baalbek
Roman writing on a stone at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter and a carved lio…
Temple of Jupiter and a carved li…
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
Cherry blossom in front of the Tem…
Cherry blossom in front of the Te…
Baalbek ruins illuminated at night
Baalbek ruins illuminated at night
Illuminated columns from the Templ…
Illuminated columns from the Temp…
Illuminated columns from the Templ…
Illuminated columns from the Temp…
Illuminated columns from the Templ…
Illuminated columns from the Temp…
The Temple of Venus at Baalbek, il…
The Temple of Venus at Baalbek, i…
The Temple of Venus at Baalbek
The Temple of Venus at Baalbek
The Temple of Venus at Baalbek
The Temple of Venus at Baalbek
Forecourt, Propylaea and Monumenta…
Forecourt, Propylaea and Monument…
Forecourt and Propylaea at Baalbek
Forecourt and Propylaea at Baalbek
Forecourt and Propylaea at Baalbek
Forecourt and Propylaea at Baalbek
Forecourt and Propylaea at Baalbek
Forecourt and Propylaea at Baalbek
Hexagonal Court at Baalbek
Hexagonal Court at Baalbek
Carved stones at the Hexagonal Cou…
Carved stones at the Hexagonal Co…
Hexagonal Court at Baalbek
Hexagonal Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Roman writing on a stone at Baalbek
Roman writing on a stone at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Pillars in the Great Court at Baal…
Pillars in the Great Court at Baa…
Roman face on the fountain, locate…
Roman face on the fountain, locat…
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Carved stones located within the G…
Carved stones located within the …
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Carved stone at the Great Court at…
Carved stone at the Great Court a…
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Carved lion water feature at Baalb…
Carved lion water feature at Baal…
Carved lion water feature at Baalb…
Carved lion water feature at Baal…
Carved lion water feature at Baalb…
Carved lion water feature at Baal…
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Julia with some flowers at Baalbek
Julia with some flowers at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
Ruins at Baalbek
Ruins at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
A wall from the Great Court at Baa…
A wall from the Great Court at Ba…
Part of the ruins of the Great Cou…
Part of the ruins of the Great Co…
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Ruins at Baalbek
Ruins at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Great Court at Baalbek
Snowy mountains seen from Baalbek
Snowy mountains seen from Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter and the Temple o…
Temple of Jupiter and the Temple …
Ruined blocks at the Temple of Jup…
Ruined blocks at the Temple of Ju…
Outer walls of the Temple of Jupit…
Outer walls of the Temple of Jupi…
Me with the base of a pillar at th…
Me with the base of a pillar at t…
Julia at the Temple of Bacchus, at…
Julia at the Temple of Bacchus, a…
Me at the Temple of Bacchus at Baa…
Me at the Temple of Bacchus at Ba…
Two lion statues at Baalbek
Two lion statues at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Carved stone at Baalbek
Carved stone at Baalbek
Cherry blossom at Baalbek
Cherry blossom at Baalbek
Cherry blossom in front of the Tem…
Cherry blossom in front of the Te…
The Temple of Jupiter (left) and T…
The Temple of Jupiter (left) and …
Lion water feature in front of the…
Lion water feature in front of th…
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Carved ceiling at the Temple of Ba…
Carved ceiling at the Temple of B…
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
Key stone from the Temple of Bacch…
Key stone from the Temple of Bacc…
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
The Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek
Mosaic at Baalbek
Mosaic at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Gravestone at Baalbek Museum
Gravestone at Baalbek Museum
Gravestone at Baalbek Museum
Gravestone at Baalbek Museum
Gravestone at Baalbek Museum
Gravestone at Baalbek Museum
Skeleton at Baalbek Museum
Skeleton at Baalbek Museum
Sarcophagi at Baalbek Museum
Sarcophagi at Baalbek Museum
Lion statue at Baalbek Museum
Lion statue at Baalbek Museum
Arabic writing on a slab at Baalbe…
Arabic writing on a slab at Baalb…
Lion water feature in front of the…
Lion water feature in front of th…
Lion water feature in front of the…
Lion water feature in front of th…
Lion water feature in front of the…
Lion water feature in front of th…
Roman writing at Baalbek
Roman writing at Baalbek
Carving of a man spearing a boar, …
Carving of a man spearing a boar,…
Sarcophagus with a lion statue on …
Sarcophagus with a lion statue on…
Sarcophagus at Baalbek
Sarcophagus at Baalbek
Lion carving at Baalbek
Lion carving at Baalbek
Lion water feature in front of the…
Lion water feature in front of th…
Mosaic floor in Baalbek Museum
Mosaic floor in Baalbek Museum
Me with my head in a lions mouth! …
Me with my head in a lions mouth!…
Carved head in Baalbek Museum
Carved head in Baalbek Museum
Sculpture in Baalbek Museum
Sculpture in Baalbek Museum
Ruins at Baalbek
Ruins at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter (left), Temple o…
Temple of Jupiter (left), Temple …
Ruins at Baalbek
Ruins at Baalbek
Ruins at Baalbek
Ruins at Baalbek
Ruins at Baalbek
Ruins at Baalbek
Baalbek
photo by: lucyglaser