Maybe this city is a perfect unknown, but possibly we have the oldest city in the world. Byblos, located 45 minutes north of Beirut in Lebanon. Witness almost every era of human has seen the people of the Stone Age, the Phoenicians, the Amorites, Hittites, Egyptians, Persians, Macedonians, Greeks, Romans, Turks and French. Byblos was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1984.
Its name comes from a variant of the papyrus, as in antiquity, Byblos was one of the most important cities in the world producing papyrus. Even the Bible mentions the city. Byblos is also one of the most beautiful ports in the eastern Mediterranean. Let’s take a brief tour of the most symbolic places of the city, and You will come as one of the most genuine individuals and we can find.
The first thing we see when we reach the town is the Castle of Port, built by the Franks in the twelfth century to shelter the city from the sea. It is a strength that is built around the city, seen from any point of it. Climb the stairs leading to main door of the Castle, and from there to visit, climb to their heights and one of the best views of the Mediterranean that we have ever had.
From the castle we can see the ramparts of the city, more than 3,000 years old, but over the centuries were refined and rebuilt by the occupants of the city. Some find her remains from all eras, from Roman columns, a Phoenician objects, and catacombs. This perfectly defined so that we can see the different eras that have lived in Byblos.
We are now nearing the Baalat Gebal Temple, the oldest temple in Byblos, which dates back no more and no less than the fourth century AD It was rebuilt after a fire 400 years later.
Along with this temple is the Temple of the obelisk, named for the Esplanade of obelisks in location. No one knows the exact time when this temple was built, although it is considered an ancient shrine, resting place of the gods. Cree that even before there was a temple on the same site is dedicated to the gods Adonis and Astarte. The esplanades of the obelisks are built later. Highest of all is the Obelisk Abichemou, commissioned by the French governor of the same name in the nineteenth century.
From the Roman era of Byblos are huge columns of 5 meters high around the city walls. The columns are Corinthian style, marble, with Greek-style friezes. West of these columns we have the Royal necropolis, tombs of ancient Phoenicians they really are deep wells. The Phoenicians these wells filled with sand and then placed the sarcophagus. At the top of graves placed a circle of stones to indicate the number of people buried there. These tombs date from the second millennium before Christ. The most famous tomb is the site of King Hiram, a contemporary Egypt of Ramses II. It derives almost all of Egypt the stone used in construction in Byblos.
Returning to visit the Roman Amphitheater, which is actually a reconstruction of the old that was in the city. The original might be three times as high, but remains similar in width. Even back in the U.S. today for its wonderful acoustics for concerts and shows. It is built on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean.
And we end our wonderful visit to Byblos, stroll through our human history, in the Arabic of the city. It consists of narrow streets, very similar to those found in any Spanish city that was at the time the square of the Muslims. There are also shops, markets, stalls with objects instead of native.
Well, Byblos is a magical place, a place to go in a short time the entire history of mankind.
How to get there?
To arrive at Byblos have to land at the Rafic Hariri Airport in Beirut. The airport is 9 kilometers from the city. During the day traveling public buses between the airport and Beirut, while the bus is 1 kilometer from the airport itself. Upon reaching the city, transfer to the bus station in Beirut, which is at the heart of the city, because this season there are direct buses to Byblos. The journey is by motorway, by the Mediterranean coastline, with beautiful landscapes. After about 40 minutes to be in Beirut Byblos. The odd thing is that the bus will not stop at any station, but before get into it must tell the driver that we went to Byblos, and he will stop at any point in town, but without leaving the highway.