Nestled within the heart of Lebanon lies a historical marvel that has withstood the test of time and witnessed the rise and fall of empires. The Baalbek Temple Ruins, an awe-inspiring testament to ancient engineering and imperial conquest, beckon modern-day adventurers and history enthusiasts to embark on a journey through time.
Standing as an indomitable symbol of Roman grandeur, these monolithic wonders have not only captured the imagination of archaeologists and scholars but have also enticed countless curious souls to delve into their enigmatic past. Among the echoes of the past, the resounding footsteps of none other than Alexander the Great himself can be heard, adding a layer of mystique to these already captivating ruins.
In this comprehensive guide, we invite you to accompany us on an exploration of the Baalbek Temple Ruins, as we uncover the stories etched into these ancient stones and the remarkable legacy they continue to impart.
The history of the Baalbek Roman Temple ruins in Lebanon is a captivating journey through the annals of time, where architectural marvels, imperial dominion, and cultural significance intertwine to create a rich tapestry of historical heritage.
Baalbek's origins can be traced back to the Phoenician era, around 900 BCE, when it was known as Heliopolis, dedicated to the worship of the god Baal. During this period, the Phoenicians constructed sanctuaries on the site, laying the foundation for the religious and architectural legacy that would evolve over the centuries.
Under the sway of Alexander the Great's conquest in 334 BCE, Baalbek fell under Hellenistic influence. Renamed "Heliopolis" by the Greeks, the city began to incorporate elements of Greek architecture into its existing structures. This marked the first chapter of the site's transformation, as Greek aesthetics merged with Phoenician heritage.
However, it was during the Roman era that Baalbek's grandeur truly flourished. In 64 BCE, the Romans absorbed the city into their vast empire, and Baalbek flourished as a center of worship and commerce. It was during this time that the most iconic structures, known as the Roman Temple ruins, were constructed. These included the awe-inspiring Temple of Jupiter, the exquisite Temple of Bacchus, and the graceful Temple of Venus.
The Temple of Jupiter, dedicated to the chief Roman god, stood as a colossal testament to Roman engineering prowess. Gigantic stone blocks formed the foundation, and its sheer size left visitors in awe. The Temple of Bacchus, dedicated to the god of wine, boasted intricate carvings, elaborate Corinthian columns, and a level of detailing that showcased the pinnacle of ancient craftsmanship. The Temple of Venus, dedicated to the goddess of love, radiated elegance and reverence.
The decline of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century CE brought about a shift in Baalbek's fate. The city faced invasions, earthquakes, and changing power dynamics that led to a gradual deterioration of its once-thriving urban landscape. Successive rulers, including Arab, Byzantine, and Arab regimes, had varying influence on the ruins.
Despite the challenges, Baalbek's significance endured. European travelers during the 16th to 19th centuries marveled at the ruins and documented their splendor, igniting global interest in this ancient gem. Preservation efforts gained momentum in the 20th century to safeguard the ruins from further degradation, solidifying its status as a cultural treasure.
In 1984, the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation bestowed international recognition upon Baalbek's Roman Temple ruins, acknowledging their historical importance and architectural brilliance. Today, ongoing archaeological excavations and research continue to unveil new layers of Baalbek's history, ensuring that its legacy remains vibrant and enduring. The Baalbek Roman Temple ruins stand not only as a tribute to the past but also as a bridge that connects modern generations to the achievements and aspirations of ancient civilizations.
Yes, the city of Baalbek has ancient Phoenician origins. Originally known as "Heliopolis" in Phoenician times, it was a significant religious and cultural center dedicated to the worship of the god Baal. The Phoenicians, known for their maritime trade and cultural influence in the ancient Mediterranean region, established Baalbek as a place of reverence and importance.
With the arrival of Alexander the Great and subsequent Hellenistic rule, the city's name was Hellenized to "Heliopolis" and experienced a fusion of Greek architectural elements with its Phoenician heritage. Later, under Roman rule, Baalbek further developed into a major urban center with monumental temples and structures that showcased the grandeur of Roman engineering and architecture.
The name "Baalbek" is derived from the Semitic languages of the ancient Near East, particularly Phoenician and Canaanite. It is a combination of two words: "Baal" and "Bek/Bekaa."
"Baal": This term refers to a deity, often associated with a god of fertility, weather, and agriculture in various ancient cultures. In the context of Baalbek, it likely refers to the worship of the god Baal, who was significant in Phoenician and Canaanite religious beliefs.
"Bek/Bekaa": This refers to the fertile Bekaa Valley, a region in Lebanon where the city of Baalbek is located. The Bekaa Valley has historically been an agriculturally productive area, making it a vital region for settlements and trade routes.
So, the name "Baalbek" essentially translates to something like "The City of Baal in the Bekaa Valley," reflecting the city's ancient religious and geographical significance.
The construction of the temples at Baalbek, particularly the most famous ones like the Temple of Jupiter and the Temple of Bacchus, took place during the Roman period. The Temple of Jupiter, the largest and most significant of the temples in Baalbek, was built around the 1st century CE.
The Temple of Bacchus, dedicated to the Roman god of wine, was also constructed during the Roman period, likely in the early 2nd century CE. This temple is known for its remarkable preservation and intricate architectural details.
Overall, the Roman temples of Baalbek were built during the 1st and 2nd centuries CE, reflecting the architectural prowess and grandeur of the Roman Empire during that era.
The Roman Temple ruins in Baalbek, particularly the monumental temples like the Temple of Jupiter and the Temple of Bacchus, were constructed during the Roman period. The actual individuals or architects responsible for their design and construction are not definitively known by name.
However, these structures were built under the patronage of the Roman emperors and with the resources of the Roman Empire. The Temple of Jupiter, for instance, was likely built during the reign of Emperor Augustus or his successors, while the Temple of Bacchus is attributed to the early 2nd century CE.
The construction of these temples required skilled architects, engineers, and laborers who were well-versed in Roman architectural techniques. The influence of various architectural styles, including Roman and Greek elements, is evident in the design and detailing of the structures.
While we may not have specific names associated with the builders, the enduring legacy of these ruins attests to the remarkable craftsmanship and engineering prowess of the ancient Roman civilization.
The "Baalbek Stones" refer to the massive stone blocks used in the construction of the Roman temples and other structures at the Baalbek archaeological site in Lebanon. These stones are renowned for their size, weight, and the engineering marvel required to transport and assemble them.
The most famous example of the Baalbek Stones is the so-called "Trilithon," which consists of three enormous stone blocks located in the foundation of the Temple of Jupiter. Each of these blocks weighs approximately 800 tons, making them some of the largest quarried stones in the world. The exact methods by which these stones were quarried, transported, and lifted into position remain subjects of historical and archaeological inquiry.
Regarding your question about whether Baalbek was a Roman quarry, yes, it is believed that the site of Baalbek was utilized as a quarry during the Roman period. The stone blocks used in the construction of the temples and other structures were likely quarried in the immediate vicinity of Baalbek. The extracted stones would have been transported a short distance to the construction site, where they were carefully positioned to create the monumental edifices.
The precision and scale of the stone work at Baalbek are indeed indicative of the advanced engineering techniques of the Roman Empire. The site's quarries and the impressive stones they produced are a testament to the ingenuity and architectural achievements of the ancient Romans.
The Baalbek Temple complex in Lebanon was not destroyed by a single event or entity but rather experienced a combination of factors that led to its decline over the centuries. Unlike some other historical sites that were intentionally destroyed by conquerors, Baalbek's decline was a gradual process influenced by a variety of historical, natural, and cultural changes.
Here are some of the main factors that contributed to the decline of the Baalbek Temple complex:
Earthquakes: The region around Baalbek is prone to earthquakes, and throughout its history, the area has experienced seismic activity that caused damage to the temples and structures. Multiple earthquakes over the centuries may have weakened the buildings and contributed to their deterioration.
Changing Power Dynamics: As different empires and rulers came and went, the region's political landscape shifted. Baalbek came under the control of various powers, including Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and others. These changes in control could have led to neglect or repurposing of the temples.
Gradual Abandonment: With the decline of the Roman Empire, the temples lost their religious significance and the city faced economic challenges. This could have led to a decline in maintenance and use of the structures.
Cultural and Religious Shifts: As religious beliefs changed over time, the temples may have lost their significance and relevance. New cultures and religious practices could have influenced the way the site was treated and utilized.
Weathering and Time: The passage of time and exposure to the elements can cause natural decay of structures. Weathering, erosion, and other environmental factors could have contributed to the deterioration of the temples.
It's important to note that while the Baalbek Temple complex experienced decline, it was not completely destroyed. Many of the structures still stand today, albeit in various states of preservation. The temples have also undergone restoration and conservation efforts in recent decades to preserve what remains of their historical and architectural significance.
Yes, Baalbek is mentioned in the Bible. It is often referred to as "Baal-Gad" in the Old Testament. Baal-Gad was a Canaanite city located in the region of modern-day Baalbek in Lebanon. In the Book of Joshua (Joshua 11:17, 12:7, 13:5), it is mentioned as one of the cities conquered by Joshua and the Israelites during their conquest of Canaan. Baal-Gad is also referenced in the Book of Judges (Judges 3:3) and in other biblical texts as a location in the land of Canaan. The name "Baal-Gad" is a combination of the Canaanite god "Baal" and "Gad," which is thought to refer to the tribe of Gad.
It's important to note that while Baalbek is associated with these biblical references, the massive Roman temple complex and ruins that it is primarily known for today were constructed centuries later, during the Roman period, and are not directly mentioned in the Bible.
The construction of the Temple of Jupiter is believed to have started around the 1st century AD during the Roman period, specifically during the reign of Emperor Augustus. However, the site itself has a longer history of religious significance, dating back to earlier cultures. The foundations of the temple complex might incorporate elements from even earlier structures, possibly from the Hellenistic period.
The Temple of Jupiter and the Baalbek complex as a whole showcase a blend of architectural styles and cultural influences over time. The complex's construction continued through the Roman period and into the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius. The temple was dedicated to Jupiter, the Roman king of the gods.
The age of the Baalbek temple complex is around 2,000 years old, with its roots in earlier periods of history. It stands as a remarkable example of ancient Roman architecture and engineering, and it is one of the most impressive and well-preserved Roman ruins in the world.
Travelers should consider visiting the Baalbek Ruins in Lebanon for a variety of compelling reasons:
Historical Significance: The Baalbek Ruins are a testament to Lebanon's rich history and its role as a crossroads of civilizations. The site has been occupied by various cultures over thousands of years, including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, and more.
Roman Architecture: The Baalbek Ruins feature some of the most impressive Roman architecture outside of Rome itself. The Temple of Jupiter, with its massive columns and intricate details, is a prime example of ancient Roman engineering and artistic craftsmanship.
Monolithic Wonders: One of the most intriguing features of the Baalbek Ruins is the presence of massive stone blocks known as "trilithons." These gigantic stones weigh hundreds of tons and remain a mystery as to how they were quarried, transported, and lifted into place with such precision.
Cultural Experience: Exploring the Baalbek Ruins provides travelers with a deep sense of connection to the past and an appreciation for the cultures that once thrived in the region. It's a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in history and gain insights into ancient religious practices.
Archaeological Insights: The ruins offer a glimpse into the past and the lives of the people who inhabited the area. Archaeological excavations have revealed artifacts and structures that shed light on the daily lives, customs, and beliefs of the ancient inhabitants.
Stunning Surroundings: The Baalbek Ruins are set against the backdrop of the beautiful Lebanese countryside, creating a picturesque and memorable setting for exploration and photography.
Educational Value: Visiting the ruins can be an educational experience for both individuals and families. Learning about the history, architecture, and cultural context of the site can be both enriching and enjoyable.
Adventure and Discovery: Exploring the Baalbek Ruins involves walking through ancient structures, climbing stairs, and navigating archaeological sites. This sense of adventure and discovery can make the visit even more exciting.
Cultural Heritage: By visiting the Baalbek Ruins, travelers contribute to the preservation of Lebanon's cultural heritage. Tourism can provide financial support for ongoing restoration efforts and the maintenance of the site.
Unique Travel Experience: Baalbek is not as widely visited as some other historical sites, which means that travelers can often enjoy a more intimate and less crowded experience as they explore the ruins.
The Temple of Jupiter is a monumental ancient Roman temple located within the Baalbek archaeological complex in Baalbek, Lebanon. It is one of the most significant structures within the complex and is considered one of the largest and most impressive Roman temples ever built. The temple was dedicated to Jupiter, the king of the Roman gods, and was an essential center of worship during the Roman period.
Key features and aspects of the Temple of Jupiter include:
Massive Size: The temple's sheer size is awe-inspiring. Its platform alone measures around 88 meters long and 48 meters wide. The temple itself stands on a raised platform and is surrounded by a peristyle (a colonnade of columns) on all sides.
Columns and Architecture: The temple's architecture is characterized by its massive columns, many of which are still standing today. The columns are Corinthian in style and are among the largest ever created in the Roman world. The temple's façade includes intricately carved details, showcasing the skill of ancient Roman craftsmen.
Trilithon: One of the most famous aspects of the Temple of Jupiter is the presence of enormous stone blocks known as the "trilithons." These are three massive stones placed on top of one another, forming a massive doorway or entryway. The weight and size of these stones have puzzled researchers for centuries, as they are among the largest monoliths ever quarried and transported in ancient times.
Cultural and Religious Significance: The Temple of Jupiter was a center of religious and cultural activity in the ancient Roman world. It played a crucial role in the worship of Jupiter, and the site was likely visited by pilgrims and worshippers from various regions.
Historical Layers: While the temple is primarily associated with the Roman period, the site itself has earlier layers of history. It is believed that the temple was built on the foundations of earlier structures, potentially dating back to the Hellenistic and even Phoenician periods.
Archaeological Significance: The temple complex, including the Temple of Jupiter, has been the subject of extensive archaeological studies and excavations. These studies have helped uncover details about the construction techniques, historical context, and cultural significance of the site.
The Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek is a remarkable example of ancient Roman architecture and engineering prowess. It stands as a testament to the grandeur and sophistication of the Roman Empire and remains a prominent historical and archaeological site that continues to captivate visitors with its size, craftsmanship, and mysteries.
The Temple of Venus, also known as the Temple of Bacchus, is another significant ancient Roman temple located within the Baalbek archaeological complex in Baalbek, Lebanon. It stands adjacent to the larger Temple of Jupiter and is one of the most well-preserved and impressive Roman temples in the complex.
Key features and aspects of the Temple of Venus (Bacchus) include:
Dedication: The temple is often referred to as the Temple of Bacchus due to its association with the Roman god of wine, Bacchus. However, it is also dedicated to Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The dual dedication to both deities highlights the multifaceted nature of Roman religious practices.
Architecture: The Temple of Venus is renowned for its well-preserved architecture and intricate detailing. Like the Temple of Jupiter, it features Corinthian columns, ornate carvings, and other elements of classical Roman design.
Proportions: The Temple of Venus is often praised for its harmonious proportions and graceful design. It is slightly smaller in scale than the Temple of Jupiter but shares many architectural elements with it.
Peristyle and Interior: The temple is surrounded by a peristyle, which consists of a colonnade of columns encircling the temple. The interior of the temple features a sanctuary or cella where the cult statue of the deity was likely housed.
Integration with Landscape: The temple is situated on a platform and is carefully integrated into the natural landscape. Its location and design take advantage of the surrounding hills and offer stunning views of the surrounding area.
Artistic Detail: The Temple of Venus is known for its well-preserved decorative elements, including intricate friezes, reliefs, and carvings that depict scenes from Roman mythology, religious rituals, and daily life.
Historical Significance: Like the Temple of Jupiter, the Temple of Venus has been the subject of archaeological research and study. It provides insights into Roman religious practices, architectural techniques, and the cultural context of the time.
UNESCO World Heritage Site: The Temple of Venus, along with the entire Baalbek archaeological complex, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 due to its historical and cultural significance.
Visiting the Temple of Venus (Bacchus) offers travelers a chance to experience the grandeur and architectural brilliance of ancient Rome. Its proximity to the Temple of Jupiter and other structures in the complex makes Baalbek a treasure trove of ancient history and a captivating destination for those interested in exploring the marvels of Roman civilization.
The "Stone of the Pregnant Woman" is a massive stone block located in the ancient city of Baalbek, Lebanon. This stone block is one of the largest monoliths ever quarried by humans, and it remains partially cut from the quarry at the Baalbek archaeological site. The stone is estimated to weigh around 1,000 tons, making it one of the heaviest objects ever moved and worked by ancient civilizations.
The Stone of the Pregnant Woman is situated in the ancient quarry adjacent to the main archaeological complex of Baalbek. It lies on a hillside along with other partially quarried stones. The name "Stone of the Pregnant Woman" is believed to have originated from local legends and folklore rather than any historical evidence.
It's important to note that while the Stone of the Pregnant Woman is impressive in size, it is not part of the finished structures like the Temple of Jupiter or the Temple of Venus. Instead, it was left in the quarry as an unfinished project, likely due to its immense size and the challenges involved in moving and lifting it into place.
The Stone of the Pregnant Woman, along with the other colossal stone blocks in the Baalbek quarry, has captured the fascination of archaeologists, historians, and enthusiasts alike. The question of how ancient civilizations were able to quarry, transport, and work with such massive stones remains a topic of debate and speculation. While there are various theories about the methods employed, there is no definitive answer, adding to the mystery and allure of Baalbek's ancient ruins.
Baalbek, located in modern-day Lebanon, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds immense historical, architectural, and cultural significance. The site is renowned for its impressive Roman ruins, including the Temple of Jupiter and the Temple of Venus (also known as the Temple of Bacchus). Here's a closer look at Baalbek as a UNESCO World Heritage Site:
Historical and Architectural Marvel: Baalbek's Roman ruins showcase the architectural prowess of the ancient Romans. The Temple of Jupiter and the Temple of Venus stand as remarkable examples of classical Roman architecture, characterized by massive columns, intricate detailing, and harmonious proportions. The site's colossal stone blocks, including the famous "Stone of the Pregnant Woman," are a testament to ancient quarrying and construction techniques.
Crossroads of Civilizations: The history of Baalbek stretches back beyond the Roman period. The site was initially a place of worship in Phoenician times and subsequently became an important Hellenistic and Roman center. This rich history reflects the convergence of various civilizations and cultural influences over the millennia.
UNESCO Recognition: Baalbek was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 due to its exceptional value as a cultural and historical site. Its status as a World Heritage Site underscores its global significance and the need for its preservation for future generations.
Preservation Efforts: Being a UNESCO site brings attention to the importance of preserving Baalbek's architectural wonders. Conservation efforts aim to maintain the site's structural integrity and safeguard its historical significance. These efforts include ongoing research, restoration work, and the implementation of measures to protect the site from environmental factors and potential threats.
Tourism and Education: As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Baalbek attracts tourists, scholars, and enthusiasts from around the world. Visitors have the opportunity to explore the site's ruins, learn about its history through guided tours and interpretive materials, and gain insights into the architectural achievements of the past.
Cultural Exchange: Baalbek's designation as a World Heritage Site fosters international cultural exchange and cooperation. Scholars, archaeologists, and experts from various countries collaborate on research, conservation projects, and educational initiatives related to the site.
Local Impact: The UNESCO status brings attention to the local community and encourages sustainable tourism practices that benefit the economy while respecting the site's cultural and natural heritage. It can also foster a sense of pride and identity among local residents.
By Air: The nearest major international airport to Baalbek is Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) in Beirut, which is about 85 kilometers (approximately 53 miles) away. From the airport, you can either rent a car, hire a taxi, or take a bus to reach Baalbek.
By Car: Renting a car is a common and convenient option if you want to explore Baalbek independently. The drive from Beirut to Baalbek takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.
By Bus: You can also take a bus from Beirut to Baalbek. Buses from the Charles Helou Bus Station in Beirut serve the route to Baalbek. Keep in mind that schedules may vary, so it's recommended to check the latest bus schedules and availability.
Guided Tours: Another option is to join a guided tour that includes transportation from Beirut to Baalbek. Many tour operators in Beirut offer day trips to Baalbek, often combined with visits to other nearby attractions.
Local Transportation: Once you're in Baalbek, you can hire taxis or use local transportation to get around the town and explore the Baalbek Temple ruins.
Before you plan your trip, I recommend checking for any updates on transportation options, road conditions, and travel advisories. Keep in mind that situations might have changed since my last update, so it's best to consult with local tourism authorities, travel agencies, or online travel resources for the most up-to-date information on how to get to Baalbek.
The region surrounding Baalbek in Lebanon offers a variety of attractions and historical sites that visitors can explore. Here are some notable attractions near Baalbek:
Anjar: Anjar is an ancient Umayyad city located not far from Baalbek. The site features well-preserved ruins of a city built during the early Islamic period. The layout of Anjar's streets and structures provides insights into the architecture and urban planning of the time.
Byblos: Byblos (Jbeil) is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features archaeological sites, a medieval castle, ancient city walls, and a picturesque harbor. Byblos is known for its historical significance and charming coastal ambiance.
Jeita Grotto: The Jeita Grotto is a remarkable limestone cave system with stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations. Divided into two sections, the lower grotto is accessible by boat and the upper grotto is accessible on foot. It's a popular natural attraction not far from Beirut.
Harissa: Harissa is a mountain village overlooking the bay of Jounieh. It is known for the Our Lady of Lebanon statue, a massive statue of the Virgin Mary that is an important pilgrimage site. Visitors can take a cable car to the statue and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Beirut: Lebanon's capital city, Beirut, offers a mix of modern amenities and historical sites. The city has a vibrant cultural scene, bustling markets, and a waterfront promenade known as the Corniche. Beirut National Museum showcases Lebanon's archaeological heritage.
Sidon (Saida): Sidon is another historic city with a rich past. It boasts a well-preserved Crusader Sea Castle, an ancient Phoenician archaeological site, and bustling souks where you can experience local culture and cuisine.
Tyre (Sour): Tyre is an ancient Phoenician city with impressive archaeological sites, including a well-preserved Roman hippodrome, ruins of ancient streets, and an old port. The city also offers beautiful coastal views.
Tripoli: Tripoli is one of Lebanon's largest cities and is known for its historic old town, medieval structures, and vibrant markets. The Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles is a notable landmark.
Cedars of God: Located in the mountains, the Cedars of God is a grove of ancient cedar trees. These trees have historical and cultural significance and are mentioned in various religious texts.
Bcharre: Bcharre is a town near the Cedars of God and is the birthplace of poet and philosopher Khalil Gibran. The Gibran Museum is dedicated to his life and works.
These attractions offer a diverse range of experiences, from ancient history and archaeology to natural beauty and modern city life. Travelers near Baalbek have the opportunity to explore a rich tapestry of Lebanon's cultural heritage and natural landscapes.
The entrance fees for visiting the Baalbek archaeological site and its Roman ruins can vary depending on factors such as nationality, age, and any special promotions that might be in place. Keep in mind that prices may have changed since then, so it's a good idea to verify the current fees before planning your visit. Additionally, fees might differ for accessing specific parts of the site or for guided tours. Here's a general guideline based on historical information:
Lebanese Nationals: Typically, Lebanese citizens are charged a lower entrance fee compared to foreigners. The fee for Lebanese nationals might include access to both the Temple of Jupiter and the Temple of Venus.
Foreign Tourists: For foreign tourists, there's usually a higher entrance fee. This fee might grant you access to both temples and other parts of the archaeological site.
Students and Children: Students and children often enjoy discounted rates. Valid student ID cards may be required to qualify for these discounts.
Guided Tours: If you opt for a guided tour, the cost might include the entrance fee as well as the services of a guide who can provide insights into the history and significance of the site.
Combination Tickets: Some sites in Lebanon offer combination tickets that grant access to multiple historical sites. Depending on availability, there might be a combined ticket for Baalbek along with nearby attractions.
Free Days or Special Discounts: Some sites have free admission days, especially for national holidays or specific events. Special discounts might also be available during certain times of the year.
It's recommended to check with official sources, such as the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism or the Baalbek site's official website, for the most up-to-date information on entrance fees, ticket options, and any special promotions. Additionally, if you're planning to visit as part of an organized tour, the tour operator should be able to provide you with accurate pricing details.
This 8-day Lebanon tour packs in a huge amount of what this fascinating small country has to offer. Amazing historical sites and ruins, beautiful mountain and forest scenery, busy markets and souks and delicious food and wine.
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