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about lebanon editorial

Baalbek: a place of peace and power


Baalbek is a town in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon situated east of the Litani River. Known as Heliopolis during the period of Roman rule, it was one of the largest sanctuaries in the empire and contains some of the best preserved Roman ruins in Lebanon. The gods that were worshipped at the temple were Jupiter, Venus, and Bacchus.

World Heritage Site
"Baalbeck, with its colossal structures, is one of the finest examples of Imperial Roman architecture at its apogee", UNESCO reported in making Baalbeck a World Heritage Site in 1984. When the committee was writing about the site, it expressed the wish that the protected area include the entire town. Lebanon's representatives gave assurances that the committee's wish would be honored.

Baalbeck is home to the annual Baalbeck International Festival. The town is about 85 km northeast of Beirut and about 75 km north of Damascus. It has a population of approximately 82,608.
The Festival has produced many world class plays, Lebanese nights, Opera, classical music, pop and jazz concerts, modern and classical dance, and lyrical song. World premieres and exceptional performances were presented by artists and groups; from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Karajan, from the Rahbani Brothers with Fairouz to the Caracalla Dance Theater, as well as many other artists who have left their mark on the century's cultural landscape.

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