An ancient city deeply rooted in history. Civilization has been known for thousands of years, and various eras and civilizations have passed over it, making it one of the most important tourist and historical cities in the Arab East.
It is the city of the sun, Baalbek, around which legends have been narrated, and it is distinguished by its monuments, ancient temples and unparalleled huge structures.
In this film, which is broadcast by Al Jazeera Documentary, we get closer to this city located in the heart of Lebanon and in the Bekaa Valley, to get to know it more, and to open its doors to us as historical treasures.
The name of the city, according to many historians, comes from the words Baal and Bey, and Baal is the god of the Syrians and the Canaanites, and Bey means a city, meaning it is “the city of Baal.”
Historian Dr. Hassan Nasrallah says that Baal was mentioned in the Holy Qur’an in Surat As-Saffat, when the Prophet of God Elias was preventing them from worshiping him, and he said to them, according to the Qur’anic text: “Do you call upon Baal and leave the best of creators?”
Myths abounded about the way the city was built, and this is due to the huge stones that were used to build its structures, as many believe that Baalbek was the first city built in the universe, and according to the traveler Benjamin Toledi, “Satan Ashmoday built it for Cain, son of Adam, when he killed his brother. shivering, so he built it for him so that death would not comprehend him.” His theory was supported by Father Henry the Jesuit, and said that Asmoday’s name was Balsin.
The ancient city of Baalbek… was built by nations during ten thousand years
In the period between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, many paintings appeared in which the city of Baalbek was painted, and it was widely known in Europe, especially among the aristocracy.
The discovery of ancient history is based on the remnants of tools, shells, inscriptions, coins, etc., and through fossils in this historical city, it was found that it is much older than the Roman era. Tour guide Sherbel Saliba says that the temple of “Heliopolis” or the sun god dates back to the Greek period, and Baalbek was also called the city of “Heliopolis”, meaning the city of the sun.
Under the temple, remains of an older temple appeared, and there are also remains of the Canaanite period and before, meaning that the existing antiquities indicate that the city was inhabited and lived 10 thousand years ago, as the historian Dr. Hassan Nasrallah believes that the monuments in the caves of Baalbek date back to the Athranian era, i.e. 6 thousand years ago. years, and these relics are tools such as saws, scrapers, and knives.
“Julius Caesar” gave the city to his daughter “Julia Domna” and it was called at the time “Heliopolis”
The ancient Baalbek, within the wall that surrounds it, is a city full of antiquities and mosaics, and there is no foothold in it except that there are ancient monuments.
In the Roman phase, Baalbek was a colony, and its residents enjoyed the rights of the inhabitants of Rome and had the same duties, and they were given the right to build temples. Julius Caesar gave the city to his daughter, Julia Domna, and it was called at the time “Heliopolis Julia Domna Colni.” A coin was minted under this name.
At that time, they decided to build a temple over a Greek temple, and they used local engineers and sculptors, and the sculptors were inspired by the images of their mistresses and carved them out of rock in the form of deities or demigods, so these statues varied and did not resemble each other.