Lebanon / Cities and Towns /
Other spellings: Ba'labakk
Baalbek has its name from Phoenician, meaning "City of Baal," indicating that it was a major cult centre for the god Baal, among the most important in Canaanite and Phoenician religions.
The economy of modern Baalbek is based on local administration and agriculture, for which the town serves as a administrative and commercial centre. In recent years, tourism has been revived, but is still of limited importance.
Baalbek is the main town of eastern Lebanon, and is well-connected by rail and road to the main urban centres of both Lebanon and Syria.
The ruins of Baalbek are impressive, with temples built in Roman times. Although dedicated to Roman deities, these gods were equated with gods of Canaanite and Phoenician religions.
The greatest structure here is the Temple of Jupiter, the largest temple ever built in the Roman Empire, with a size of 49 by 88 metres. It originally had 58 columns, 23 metres high, of which only the 6 in front still stand.
The Temple of Bacchus is beautifully preserved, and although lain out on a smaller scale, still impressive with its 36 by 70 metres. It had 42 columns, of which all still stand.
There is a third temple, round in shape and dedicated to Venus, with a diametre of 14 metres. Of this, only a few columns and fragments of the wall still stand.