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Introducing Baalbek

Known as the Heliopolis or ‘Sun City’ of the ancient world, Baalbek’s ruins, without doubt, comprise the most impressive ancient site in Lebanon and are arguably the best preserved in the Middle East. Their temples, built on an extravagant scale that outshone anything in Rome, have enjoyed a stellar reputation throughout the centuries, yet still manage to maintain the appealing air of an undiscovered wonder, due to their position in the middle of quiet, bucolic Baalbek. The town itself, 86km northeast of Beirut and administrative headquarters for both the Bekaa Valley and the Hezbollah party, is small, quiet and friendly, only really coming to life each July with the arrival of the famous annual Baalbek Festival (www.baalbek.org.lb), which runs whenever the political situation allows.