Baalbek is a town in Lebanon, with a population of 72 thousand. It is NOT one of the Seven World Wonders - but it would have been included, had it been around some centuries earlier, that much is for certain. Anyone who really wants to know Roman architecture - and the spirit of Rome! - should travel not to the Italian capital, but to Baalbek! There you will find an amazing collection of Roman temples like there is no other in the world. And another aspect will fascinate you: Since the terrain is uneven, some of the temples rest on building stones that had to be brought there in some way from the quarry - and some of them are up to 1500 tons heavy! Until now, experts have been unable to find out how this was accomplished - this is a true miracle of science!

Since 1984, Baalbek has been listed as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO - as indeed it is the duty of mankind to preserve such sites for future generations.

Like many places in Lebanon, Baalbek too has an idyllic appearance - and it would do so even without the Roman remains: The town is surrounded by beautiful hills, and the climate is just that mixture of dryness and humidity that creates a vegetation that is restrained, but at the same time wonderful to look at. Baalbek is 1,170 meters above the sea - so its air has a freshness and purity to it that can cure various diseases.

Lebanon is now in a comfortable position: With its newly installed capitalist reforms, the effect of globalization and trade in general can be felt in the country like never before.

This ancient merchant nation seems indeed ready to take on the future. Baalbek is undoubtedly one of its touristic hot spots - and with its exquisite monuments, it mostly attracts up-scale travellers. Thereby, the local commerce traditions and the funds coming in through tourism seem to be forming an impressive bond. Investment is on the rise - but the story is far from over.

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Baalbek, Lebanon

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