I wanted to see the City of Demons. Why do I keep calling it the City of Demons? For all you Bible scholars out there, do you see any word familiar in the City of Baalbek? Hint: First four letters.
The First and Second Kings describe a god called Baal, "false God." It was originally worshiped by the Phoenicians - who were also the people who did come up with the alphabet system.
From Bcharre, the road to Baalbek was closed. So, we had to make a complete loop down the mountain and come in from another road. A one hour journey turned into a five hour one.
The Phoenicians first dedicated the city to their God Baal. Then, came the Romans - who dedicated it to Zeus. Then came the Christians, who sanctified it to the Christ King. And then, the Muslims took it over, and made it a citadel when the crusaders came.
I really enjoyed exploring these ruins. I felt like a kid again in some ancient Legoland. This was the good part of not having tourists. There weren't people crawling around everywhere. It was just me and the ruins and the time to reflect on them.
It was so impressive to touch stone that was over 2,000 years old. Apparently, it took 100,000 slaves to build the place. Also, the Phoenicians apparently sacrificed people in this temple. That practice stopped when the Romans came, but temple prostitutes were always about.
The first picture shows me sitting on the alter of Jupiter. Now, it's the alter to the Ferrari god. =)
Next post: On Arab Culture Shock.