17 best sights of Lebanon

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

The Lebanese Republic is one of the most hospitable and modern countries of the Middle East. It is located next to Syria and Israel, and its western part is washed by the waters The Mediterranean Sea. The state covers an area of ​​10.4 thousand square kilometers, its population is approximately 6.8 million people. For its rich history Lebanon visited under the rule of Alexander of Macedon, ancient Rome, Ottoman Empire and the French Mandate. Thanks to this country characterized by an amazing mixture of cultures and religions: up to 40 percent of its inhabitants profess Christianity, also not here many restrictions inherent in most Islamic states. After gaining independence in 1941, Lebanon soon received the status of the financial capital of the Arab world, it actively developed tourism and entertainment. Beginning in 1975 and continuing almost 15 years civil war significantly weakened the economy country. But now Lebanon has completely remodeled the whole infrastructure affected during the conflict, it is different political stability and seeks to restore its the unofficial title of “Middle Eastern Switzerland.”

Tourism is one of the most important sources. income of many Lebanese. The country is popular with travelers thanks to the mild climate, modern resorts on Mediterranean coast and vibrant nightlife in major cities. And its compact size allows you to visit all the most interesting places without spending a lot of time on trips. We are offering to you Learn more about the main attractions of Lebanon.

Lebanon Attractions

Nomination a place Sight Rating
Lebanon Attractions 1 Baalbek 5.0
2 Jabail 4.9
3 Ruins of Anjara 4.8
4 Caves 4.8
5 Virgin Mary of Lebanon 4.7
6 Star Square 4.7
7 National Museum of Beirut 4.7
8 Martyrs Square in Beirut 4.6
9 Sursok Museum 4.5
10 Muhammad Al Amin Mosque 4.5
11 St Paul’s Cathedral 4.5
12 Al Omari Mosque 4.5
13 Sidon Fortress 4.4
14 Shooting range 4.3
15 Fort Mont Pelerin 4.2
16 Mussa Castle 4.2
17 Shuf Cedar Reserve 4.1

Baalbek

Attraction Rating: 5.0

Baalbek

The ruins of the ancient city are located 65 kilometers from the capital Lebanon. In the 300s BC, the settlement was a major center worship of the sun god Baal, on whose behalf it happened name Baalbek. Since the 1st century AD, the city came under power the Romans who built directly on the foundations of the Phoenician sanctuaries a huge complex that included three temples dedicated to Jupiter, Venus and Bacchus. Around 1400, Baalbek underwent the attack of the conqueror Tamerlane’s troops and then gradually came to desolation. From the 17th century, the ruins of its grand temples began to attract the first tourists from Europe. After about three hundred years, German scientists spent on this site large-scale archaeological excavations.

The best preserved temple of Jupiter, built during reign of emperor Nero. He is primarily known for his giant monolithic blocks weighing 800-1000 tons, which is ten times larger than the largest block of the Cheops pyramid. Researchers up still do not agree on how the movement these incredibly heavy megaliths in the Phoenician era. Not yet excavations of Baalbek tourists can see the colonnade of the most the highest antique columns in the world, the main courtyard with a sacrificial altar and many other structures. Under the temple complex branched system of underground tunnels, the purpose of which is still to find out. In addition to archaeological excursions, in Baalbek In the summer, the International Music Festival is held annually, lasting a whole month.

Jabail

Attraction Rating: 4.9

Jabeyl

The city of Jabail, also known as Byblos, is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, 32 kilometers from Beirut. is he considered one of the oldest settlements in the world. To him like at least 7 thousand years, and some archaeologists believe that the settlement on this place existed 10 thousand years ago. For a long time Byblos was an independent city-state; later he entered the composition of the Phoenician state, where he played the role of a major trading center. Under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, the city lost its significance and gradually turned into a fishing village, about its former greatness only ruins resembled. Byblos found new life with development tourism.

Today, visitors to the city are greeted by excavations of ancient Phoenician temples, Egyptian sanctuary, old Byzantine churches, royal necropolis, roman amphitheater. There is also Jabeyl territory XII century fortress, which was built by the Crusader knights for protection from the troops of Salah ad-din. This reinforcement is repeatedly rebuilt and used for military purposes until the beginning of XX century. From the roof of the knight’s castle you can admire the panorama of the city and its picturesque surroundings. Of interest in jabail and Vax Museum, where with the help of wax figures made in natural size, tells about the history and traditions of Lebanon.

Ruins of Anjara

Attraction Rating: 4.8

Ruins of Anjara

The remains of the fortress city of Anjar are located 58 kilometers from Lebanese capital. It was built during the reign of the Arab caliphate, around 715 AD. Occupying an advantageous place on at the intersection of caravan routes, the city soon became a major center trade in the region. However, after the overthrow of the Umayyad dynasty, Anjar was destroyed by the troops of the Abassids, and gradually came to desolation. The new city was founded in 1939 by Armenian natives of villages Musa Daghe, about two and a half thousand people live in it.

Shortly after the declaration of independence of the Lebanese Republic on the territory of ancient Anjara began large-scale archaeological excavations. In the course of work, the caliph’s palace complex was discovered Valida I, mosques, houses and public baths. Buildings of the times the caliphate is surprised by the original combination of oriental, roman and Byzantine architecture styles. The whole territory of old Anjara inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Caves

Attraction Rating: 4.8

Caves of Jait

The two-level cave complex of Jayta is 20 kilometers away from Beirut, it is one of the most unique natural sights of the country. Upper cave was discovered US missionary William Thompson in 1836. Lower opened in 1969 local cavers. The upper cave extends to 2200 meters, however, visitors can access only its relative a small length of 750 meters. There are walking bridges passing through three halls, the largest of which has almost 120 meters high. And in a cave called White Grotto you can See the world’s longest 8.2-meter stalactite. IN the middle ages caves served as a secret weapons workshop about as evidenced by the remains of the foundry.

The upper cave communicates with the lower through a tunnel and several passes. Its length is almost seven kilometers, an underground river flows along the bottom, which is a source Nahr al-Kalb. For tourists, the lower cave is organized boat excursions. The Jate complex is often used as a hall for organ concerts as it has amazing acoustics. It is also popular with honeymooners as a place. for the wedding ceremony.

Virgin Mary of Lebanon

Attraction Rating: 4.7

Virgin Mary of Lebanon

The statue of the Virgin Mary of Lebanon has almost the same for Lebanon value as a statue of Christ the Redeemer for Brazil. It located in the resort town of Jounieh, on the hill of Harisa, height which is 650 meters above sea level. The monument was made in France and donated to Lebanon in 1908, since then he became an important pilgrimage destination for Lebanese Christians. Every year, according to tradition, residents walk up to the mountain and light a candle in a small chapel, standing directly below the statue. Believers consider the Blessed Virgin of Haris as the patroness of the country.

The bronze statue found everything in its graceful snow-white appearance. a few years ago. It is mounted on a 20 meter pedestal, representing a small copy of the minaret of the Al-Malviya mosque in the Iraqi city of Samarra. The sculpture itself has a height of 8.5 meters, the diameter of its base reaches 64 meters, and the weight is 15 tons. To get to the Virgin Mary can be both on foot and on the funicular. At its foot equipped with an observation deck, from where you can see the Gulf of June and a large Part of city.

Star Square

Attraction Rating: 4.7

Star Square

Square of the Star, which is also called Place of Etoile, located in the center of Old Beirut. From a height she really resembles a star with diverging from it in all directions rays of the streets. In the first century AD, this place was Roman forum. Both the square and the surrounding Nejmeh district in the 19th century rebuilt by French architects, giving them typical Parisian features. Here was the residence of the French mandate Syria.

A monumental tower with for hours; from the south-west and east side you can see two Christian temple: the Greek Catholic Church of St. George and Orthodox Church of St. Elijah. Beirut is one of the few places in the Middle East where Christian places of worship are practically coexist with Muslim shrines. Area is the focus of the cultural life of the capital, and neighboring neighborhoods abound fashionable hotels, boutiques and expensive restaurants.

National Museum of Beirut

Attraction Rating: 4.7

National Museum of Beirut

The National Museum in the Lebanese capital has a huge collection, numbering more than 100 thousand exhibits. Most of them were discovered during archaeological excavations in the country. The museum building bears the features of the Egyptian architectural style, it was built in 1930-1937, the museum was officially opened for visits since 1942. In the exhibition halls with a total area of ​​about 6 thousand square meters up to 1300 artifacts are constantly exhibited. The museum has several departments, which correspond to certain periods in history: from the III century BC to the time of reign Mamelukes.

The civil war in Lebanon, which began in 1975, set the very existence of the museum is threatened, since the building was on front lines, and was used as a military bunker. But all but he resisted, and many objects affected by moisture, shells and vandalism, managed to be restored. Recovery work continued until 2016, after which the museum again became the greatest treasury of Lebanese history and archeology. Special the place in the exposition is occupied by artifacts of the Phoenician time, including including mosaics, bas-reliefs, sarcophagi of kings, mummies dating from XIII century, and so on. No less interesting is the collection ivory and antique jewelry.

Martyrs Square in Beirut

Attraction Rating: 4.6

Martyrs Square in Beirut

Martyrs Square is located in the central part of the capital, near the Al-Amin mosque. Previously, it was called Square Burj, but in the 1930s a monument was erected on it Italian architect Renato Mazakuratti, and square renamed. The sculptural composition is dedicated to the Lebanese, who in 1916 were executed for participating in the uprising against oppression Ottoman Empire. When there was a civil war in Lebanon, through the square passed the so-called “green line” dividing the city to the Christian and Muslim parts.

Today, the square serves not only tourist attraction, but also a venue for rallies, demonstrations. Buildings and street objects destroyed during the war infrastructures are completely restored, and only traces of bullets on the monument reminds that not so long ago fierce fights.

Sursok Museum

Attraction Rating: 4.5

Sursok Museum

Sursok Museum is located in Beirut’s historic district and is a magnificent white stone structure, architecture which combines the features of the Venetian and Ottoman styles. The interior of this small palace looks no less than impressive, they are decorated in oriental baroque style. Built in 1914, the building originally belonged to a wealthy Lebanese aristocrat Nicolas Sursoku. After his death, according to the will, and the villa itself and the unique collection of approximately five thousand exhibits, passed to the state.

The museum’s collection contains mainly artworks created during the XVIII-XX centuries. Here you can see the pictures famous artists, sculptures, ceramic and glass products. A separate room is dedicated to the works of Islamic masters, in it a collection of 19th century Turkish silver and a jug for water created at the end of the Umayyad era. Another famous historical artifact – 10-volume Bible printed in the middle of the XVII century under the auspices of the French Cardinal Richelieu. In addition to the permanent exhibition, the Sursok Museum regularly hosts exhibitions of contemporary Lebanese art.

Muhammad Al Amin Mosque

Attraction Rating: 4.5

Muhammad Al Amin Mosque

One of Beirut’s most beautiful mosques is located on the square. Martyrs. It was built in 2002-2007 at the initiative of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who allocated for this project over 24 million dollars. After his sudden death Hariri was buried near the mosque. Building architecture combines Ottoman and some features of the Egyptian style. The author of the project, Atzmi Fakuri, was inspired by the famous Istanbul The Blue Mosque.

The height of the dome of the building reaches 42 meters, in the corners are four 72-meter minarets. As an outer material cladding used yellow ocher, in perfect harmony with the blue dome. Golden walls decorated with quotes from the Quran, the interior is painted with traditional Arabic script, decorated with stone and contains gilding elements. Residents call Muhammad Al Amin “the new pearl of Beirut.”

St Paul’s Cathedral

Attraction Rating: 4.5

St Paul's Cathedral

Of about a couple dozen different temples and monasteries, located in the vicinity of the Lebanese Mount Harissa, special attention draws upon itself St. Paul’s Cathedral. The temple was built from 1947 to 1962 year. It belongs to the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, which distinguished by its commitment to the Byzantine rites worship services.

The cathedral is made in the Byzantine architectural style, has many domes that are different in size and located on different levels. Large entrance doors decorated with oriental ornaments and patch reliefs. The interior of the temple St. Paul is richly decorated: the floor is covered with marble patterned slabs, supported by massive columns arches see a mosaic depicting Christ, the apostles, and biblical plots.

Al Omari Mosque

Attraction Rating: 4.5

Al-Omari

One of the largest mosques in the capital of Lebanon is also considered the oldest city building to survive and continuously used to our time. In the III century BC, this place stood pagan temple, later destroyed by an earthquake. After the conquest of the city by Muslims on the ruins of the temple built a mosque, calling it the name of the second caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab. In the time of the crusaders was twice converted into a Christian mosque church, until during the Mamluk reign it again became Muslim shrine. In the Ottoman period, she was given the name Yahya’s mosque, because it contains a sacred relic, allegedly owned by the prophet Yahya known in Christian world as John the Baptist.

In the middle of the 20th century, the mosque underwent restoration, once again It was necessary to restore the construction after the civil war. Today, thanks to the funds of patrons, Al-Omari regained its former view and tourists can admire this architectural monument early middle ages. The mosque is active, in it weekly sermons and daily prayers are held.

Sidon Fortress

Attraction Rating: 4.4

Sidon Fortress

The fortified structure was built in the 13th century. knight crusaders to protect the city port of Sidon. At that time the city was of great economic and political importance. The fortress stands on a small island that connects with the mainland through a long and narrow isthmus. Earlier on the island The temple of the Phoenician deity Melkart was located. Captured Mamluk troops, destroyed the castle during the battle with crusaders. In the 17th century, by order of the Lebanese emir Fahr ad-Din II fortress was restored.

Of the two towers, the western one is best preserved. Inside is the vaulted hall, which once served as an armory, is still parts of ancient weapons remained. A spiral staircase in the tower leads on the roof of the tower, from where you can admire the panorama of the fishing harbor and city buildings.

Shooting range

Attraction Rating: 4.3

Tire

The ruins of the ancient city of Thira are in the territory of Sura, one from the largest cities of Lebanon. Founded in 2750 BC, Tire served as one of the most significant Phoenician ports. He was known far beyond the borders of the country thanks to the unique purple paint produced here, which mined from a rare species of mollusks. The city flourished in ancient times. era, most archaeological sites relate precisely to this period of time.

Excavations are divided into two areas: Al-Mina and Al-Bass. The first includes Roman baths dating back to the 3rd century AD, arena where wrestling competitions were held and the remains of the erected Knights Crusaders of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. In the archaeological Al Bass Park, you can see the necropolis carved into the walls with marble sarcophagi, an impressive Arc de Triomphe, 6th century Byzantine chapel and Roman hippodrome for up to 30 thousands of people. The latter is still in use – it passes summer art festival. Many more structures of the Roman period empires rest at the bottom, in coastal waters, attracting here divers.

Fort Mont Pelerin

Attraction Rating: 4.2

Fortress of Mont Pelerin

The Mont Pelerin Citadel, also called Saint-Gilles, was built at the beginning of the XII century the crusaders led by the Count Raimund Saint-Gilles. The fortress is located on the territory of the city Tripoli, on the hill of Hayazh. The impressive building has a length of 140 meters and a width of 70 meters. Its architecture embodies imagine all the typical features of defensive structures erected knights in the east. Prior to the arrival of the Crusaders, strategically important the place was not empty – earlier on the hill was a garrison Persian king Khosrov II.

At the beginning of the 19th century, a decaying citadel underwent reconstruction by decree of the ruler of the Ottoman province of Tripoli Mustafa Aga Barbara. During the civil war, the fortress performed the role of prison, and with the onset of a ceasefire turned into tourist attraction.

Mussa Castle

Attraction Rating: 4.2

Mussa Castle

This castle, called by locals the “Dream Castle”, located in the mountainous region of the country, at a distance of 40 kilometers from Beirut. It was built by a simple Lebanese named Moussa Maamari, with childhood dreamed of having his own castle. In addition, such he tried to win the favor of a girl from a wealthy family, which he was in love with. The construction of the castle began in 1962 and lasted until 2005. Helped in translating Lebanese dreams romance and the people of the area and guest artists. Rumors have reached even before the president of the country, who supported receiving bank loan. It is worth noting that Moussa never achieved attention of his beloved. Thus a unique structure in the style of the fortress has become a symbol of determination and undivided love.

Inside the building is a museum, its exposition is collected the owner of the castle. One part is devoted to everyday life. Lebanese highlanders, and the second contains an extensive collection of cold and small arms from different periods of history.

Shuf Cedar Reserve

Attraction Rating: 4.1

Cedar Reserve Shuf

Ash Shuf Biosphere Reserve is the largest protected environmental facility of Lebanon. Its total area reaches 550 square kilometers, this is about five percent of the entire territory state. The main value of the reserve is the forests of the famous Lebanese cedar, some trees growing here over two thousand years old. Along with cedar, in the natural area there are about 500 species of plants, also Shuf is home to 32 species of mammals and 250 species of birds. There are wolves in it, lynxes, gazelles, mountain chamois, you can still see partridges, pheasants, white-headed vultures and golden eagles.

Founded in 1996, the reserve soon developed to the most popular place among ecotourism lovers country. There is also a historical landmark on its territory. – The ruins of a cave fortress dating from the 10th century AD.


Attention! This rating is subjective, is not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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