by Andy khong
The most significant period of construction in Baalbek occurred during the Roman Empire (64 BCE-312 CE). Under the rule of Emperor Augustus, the Romans began constructing a massive complex of temples and public buildings in the city, including the Temple of Jupiter, the Temple of Bacchus, and the Temple of Venus. These structures were built using the local limestone and granite, and are notable for their size, intricate decoration, and precision of construction. The Temple of Jupiter, which is the largest temple on the site, features six massive columns that are each over 19 meters tall. The ruins are a testament to the skill and engineering prowess of the ancient Romans.
The reasons for the abandonment of the Baalbek are not entirely clear, but it is likely that a combination of factors contributed to its decline. One theory is that the city was gradually abandoned as a result of economic decline and political instability in the region. Another possibility is that the city was damaged by a series of earthquakes that struck the area over the centuries. Additionally, the arrival of Islam in the region in the 7th century CE may have contributed to the abandonment of the city, as many of the Roman structures were not compatible with the new religious practices.
The ruins of Baalbek was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984, and continue to attract tourists and archaeologists from around the world. Despite its importance, the site has been damaged by war and political instability in the region, and efforts to preserve and protect the ruins continue. Overall, Baalbek is a fascinating and impressive site that offers a glimpse into the rich history and cultural heritage of Lebanon and the wider region.