UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Lebanon
Photo: UNESCO: Author: Véronique Dauge
By: Nouha Elyazidi / Arab America Contributing Writer
Lebanon is known for its beautiful culture and rich history. From the Phoenicians to the Romans, to the Ottomans, Lebanese history is very long and detailed. This history is demonstrated through the archeological sites across the country. All of these sites are listed in the UNESCO world heritage sites.
Anjar was founded during the 8th century in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon by the Caliph Walid Ibn Al-Malak of the Umayyad dynasty. The city of Anjar is described to have “a very regular layout, reminiscent of the palace-cities of ancient times.” Anjar served as a commercial center and a bridge between two of the most significant cities in the Middle East-Beirut and Damascus. The largest part of the city was the palace and Grand Mosque in the same region and the rest of the city contained buildings, residential areas, and harems. This city was never fully complete due to its abandonment after an attack, but what is left of Anjar is protected and managed to ensure preservation.
Baalbek was built during the Hellenistic period by the Phoenicians as a city of worship where the triad of deities was worshiped. This city held significant religious significance because it was the sanctuary of the Heliopolital Jupiter once Phoneica was under Roman rule. Baalbek became a significant religious site and demonstrates Roman architecture.
Byblos is a city built by the Phoenicians that served as a primary point for the diffusion of Phoenician culture. The city demonstrates the many inhabitants of modern-day Lebanon as well as the country’s history. Within the city, archeologists have discovered roads built by the Romans, churches built by the Byzantines, Crusades citadels, and Ottman town structures.
Ouadi Qadisha and the Forest of the Cedars of God
Ouadi Qadisha The Holy Valley was a Christian monastic settlement that was a forest in a valley that served as a site of religious refuge and was very important to early Christianity. This location was and remains very isolated, with rocky cliffs, hills, and caves. Many of the original structures that remain untouched today demonstrate to archeologists the architecture and agricultural habits of the valley.
Photo: UNESCO © Limes.Media/Tim Schnarr Author: Tim Schnarr
Tyre was a Phoenician city that is considered to be one of the oldest metropolises in the world, with its estimated founding being in 2750 BC. It is believed by many historians that the color purple was discovered in this city. Another reason Tyre is significant is that it was often a starting point for many explorers who would venture to the western Mediterranean and allowed the city to become a maritime city.
Source: UNESCO World Heritage: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/