Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Baalbek - Lebanon

Yesterday i've received a new Unesco card from Lebanon. I already had a touchnote card from there but as i said before, i don't include unesco TN cards in my collection. In this case they kind of complement each other, which is really nice. The TN card sent by Ninocas shows the Bachus Temple and the 2nd, sent by Sapic, shows the ceiling of the same temple.

Baalbek is a town in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon situated east of the Litani River. It is famous for its exquisitely detailed yet monumentally scaled temple ruins of the Roman period, when Baalbek, then known as Heliopolis was one of the largest sanctuaries in the empire. It is Lebanon's greatest Roman treasure, and it can be counted among the wonders of the ancient world, containing some of the largest and best preserved Roman ruins.
Towering high above the Beqaa plain, their monumental proportions proclaimed the power and wealth of Imperial Rome. The gods worshiped there, the triad of Jupiter, Venus and Bacchus, were grafted onto the indigenous deities of Hadad, Atargatis and a young male god of fertility.

 Photo by wikipedia
The Temple of Bacchus was one of the three main temples at a large complex in classical antiquity, at Baalbek. The temple was dedicated to Bacchus (also known as Dionysus), the Roman god of wine, but was traditionally referred to by Neoclassical visitors as the "Temple of the Sun". It is considered one of the best preserved Roman temples in the world. It is larger than the Parthenon in Greece, though much less famous.

The temple was commissioned by Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius and designed by an unknown architect c. 150 AD, and built close to the courtyard in front of the larger temple of Jupiter-Baal. When the temple complex fell into disrepair, the Temple of Bacchus was protected by the rubble of the rest of the site's ruins. The temple is 66m long, 35m wide, and 31m high. Its walls are adorned by forty-two unfluted Corinthian columns, nineteen of which remain upright in position standing 19 m high. The columns support a richly carved entablature. Inside, the cella is decorated with Corinthian half-columns flanking two levels of niches on each side, containing scenes from the birth and life of Bacchus. The adyton (inner shrine) stands above a flight of steps. - in: wikipedia

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