Temple of Venus

sights / Religious

Temple of Venus information

Location
Baalbek , Lebanon
Opening hours
08:30-30 min before sunset
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Near the main ruins, about 300m from the acropolis, is the tiny exquisite Temple of Venus - probably dedicated to Fortuna rather than Venus - a circular building with many fluted columns. Inside, it was decorated with tiers of tabernacles and covered with a cupola. During the early Christian era it was turned into a basilica and dedicated to St Barbara (who joined the saintly ranks when her pagan father tried to kill her for converting to Christianity - he got his comeuppance when a bolt of lightning reduced him to a smouldering heap).

A copy of this gem of a temple was constructed in the 18th century in the grounds of Stourhead in Wiltshire, England.