The Roman ruins at Baalbek are the most significant historical site in Lebanon – in fact, they are among the best preserved Roman sites in the world. The earliest artefacts at this UNESCO World Heritage site are thought to date back to around 4,000 BCE, but many of the large temples you find here today are thanks to the Romans and construction of these began around the first century BCE. The most impressive by far are the temples of Jupiter and Bacchus; both of these have retained their gigantic columns, and some mind-boggling intricate stone work. Wandering around you can also notice parts of the complex that were changed as the centuries went by, with Christian and Arab influences both dotted around, but it’s the Roman legacy here that dominates above all.
One of the best things about visiting Baalbek is how quiet it is compared to other Roman sites of such importance around the globe. You can easily find yourself here with just a handful of other people, giving you the time and space to soak it all up, and there are rarely queues to get in. It is a must-visit for anyone in Lebanon, breath-taking for history buffs and fledglings alike.