The Temple of Jupiter in Baalbek, Lebanon, was the largest Roman temple ever constructed. Although much of the temple was destroyed under the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius, 6 of its original 54 columns still stand today.
First established as a holy site by the Phoenicians, Baalbek, once known as Heliopolis, became a Roman colony in 47 B.C. There the Romans constructed three temples in honor of the gods Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury. The complex that includes the well-preserved ruins of these temples is a major archaeological site in Lebanon.
But as fighting escalated after a Hezbollah raid into Israel on July 12, many people feared for Baalbek and Lebanon's other archaeological and cultural treasures. Now that a tentative cease-fire has been declared, experts returning to the country say that the siteswhich have successfully survived decades of violence in the war-torn regionappear to have once again emerged unscathed.
See photos of Baalbek and other ruins in Lebanon that have been designated World Heritage Sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
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