Baalbek - Lebanon

Baalbek

Baalbek - an ancient city located in what is now Lebanon and famous for its ancient ruins and many churches. Its size is just enormous, for thousands of years there was built a large number of architectural wonders and the ruins of some of them have survived to this day.
 


Baalbek


Baalbek belongs to the biggest and greatest temple complex in the Middle East. The history of its rich set of events, he repeatedly passed into the domain of different civilizations, each complete construction of their facilities. It all began with the Phoenicians, who built a large stone terrace and a temple of the sun god - Baal. Then came the Greeks, and the town became known as Heliopolis, in honour of the sun god Helios.
The Romans renamed the temple of the sun at the Temple of Jupiter, having built a number of additional temples. Later, the era of the Byzantine rule, Crusaders, Turks, Arabs ... Ancient temples looted and collapsed as people, and under the influence of a number of earthquakes, also left their mark. As a result - in these days of Baalbek ruins of a mighty city.


Baalbek


One of the most prominent structures of Baalbek was the Temple of Jupiter, built by the Romans. Its length is 90 meters, width - 50. He was surrounded by 52 massive columns. Unfortunately, only 6 survived such columns. Much better preserved small temple, also known as the Temple of Bacchus. He is considered one of the finest examples of ancient Roman architectural excellence, there are well preserved almost all the columns, and the altar.


Baalbek


Surprising the method of transportation of huge blocks and the place from which they were brought. Some blocks of up to 750 tons in weight, they dragged here thousands of workers, dozens of kilometers from Balbeka. And columns of the temple of Jupiter in height of 22 meters have been carved in the stone quarries of Egypt, delivered the Nile and on the sea in Tripoli, and from there on the Roman road to Baalbek itself.


Baalbek


A third temple was dedicated to Venus, and is built in the 3rd century AD. It was a round building with a stone dome; it has survived worse than the small church. Not surprisingly, the scale and scope of Baalbek temples attributed to the best masterpieces of Roman architecture, no worse than even the pyramids in Egypt.


Baalbek


Historians claim that the main temple complex - the temple of Jupiter - built by the Romans in the I century AD. However, although it is pretty well documented historical period, and failed to find a single (!) Source, wherever the Romans ever mentioned a word or construction of a church, or any work related to such construction. All references to the Roman construction apply only to the already modern literature. Moreover, it is believed that the construction of the Temple of Jupiter in Baalbek ended already at the famous Nero. However, the wall is widely known "Golden Temple", which Nero built in Rome (the capital of the empire), is a just plastered brickwork, which bears no comparison with the temple of Jupiter in Baalbek - deep province of the Roman Empire. Mythology also categorizes this facility in the days before the Flood. Neighboring temples - Temple of Venus and the Temple of Bacchus - do not go to any comparison with the temple of Jupiter. They are well within the reach of the Roman Empire. Basically Jupiter temple complex traces multiple alterations and modifications in the most different epochs are visible just in a huge quantity.


Baalbek


Plan of the temple of Jupiter

In the first place the so-called Hex (hexagonal structure) residues arranged in columns as a simple foundation walls. In one of the columns - tool marks that give the impression that the convoy was made on some huge lathe.


Treatment of stones in the complex of Jupiter





Than leaving this trail?


Presumably trace of cutters


In some places you can find traces of simple cutting (and possibly manually):


Traces of the cut


Granite columns around the so-called The central courtyard look something alien, not with the surrounding buildings of limestone and marble. Columns handled very well, with no visible errors.


Granite pillars in the temple of Jupiter





A number of megaliths on the south side of the house gives the impression of something unfinished. Their functionality is not clear, although they form a long wall of the platform, stretched along the entire temple.


Megaliths on the south side of the temple of Jupiter


It is not clear, and the appointment of numerous square holes in the walls of the temple, and in the lower tier of the megaliths. Explanation Guide that struck their dealers to attach an awning over their little shops, raises strong doubts. Perhaps they can be used for cladding, such as a tree, but this version is in doubt.


Baalbek


One of the blocks of the lower tier for some reason tried to further stead without bringing the matter to the end. Rounded edges machined parts - not a trace of a circular cutter, and the edge of the selected material (motion tool for manual handling).


Baalbek



The size and weight of the blocks at the base of an impressive.


Baalbek


On the north side of the temple of Jupiter joins strange design - " mega fence " of huge blocks. He is in some ways similar to a number of megaliths on the south side of the church, but here, in contrast to the south side of the gap between the " mega fence " and the wall of the temple is filled with nothing. The empty space of unknown purpose with only a small passage from the outside.


Baalbek


At the junction of the megaliths at the top of " mega fence " for some reason, made ​​an oddly shaped notches. And chamfer, taken at the edges of megaliths, follows the shape of the recess.


Baalbek


Of course, the most striking western wall platform under the temple of Jupiter, where the famous Trilithon - with three huge blocks (number of impressive size under Trilithon is a sort of continuation of the North " mega fence " turning the corner.) Why builders took just such outrageous dimensions - and remains a mystery.


Baalbek


The rounded surface of one of the blocks in the west wall. Very similar to a piece of string of enormous size, laid on its side. The unit was excavated recently - excavated material has not even had time to cover it with grass. However, this unit is in the masonry under (!) Trilithon. And if it is - is really a piece of string, it turns out. that mega masonry with Trilithon erected on the ruins of an even more ancient building! .. However, it is consistent with the legends that Baalbek recovered some "giants" after the Flood. That is, the original building was antediluvian. On its initial form as in this case, we can only guess.


Baalbek


Southern rock Baalbek

"Southern rock" - is far in his career. The dimensions of this mass of rock - 23 m long, 5.3 m wide and 4.55 m high. It weighs response.


Southern rock Baalbek



Contrary to occasionally meet approval, the so-called "Southern rock" is not thrown by the builders of the road and not be lost in transit - and he was left lying in the quarry, and not even separated by the end of the bedrock. The slope of the same block is given general slope surface, which had to do in the rock massif. Around the quarry remained standing upright stone blocks, also separated from the bedrock. Share their passages are designed just for human (as well as the nature of the surface) fully corresponds to the ancient quarries, where building material was extracted manually. However, the surface of the Southern rock is markedly different from the bottom surface of the bridge, which continues to combine it with rocks. So do not rule out the possibility that he made ​​a giant block at a time, and finally separate from the rock he tried to have later.
More detail about the features of the complex can be found here