Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek
Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek, Beqaa Governorate, Lebanon
Baalbeck is a town in the Anti-Lebanon foothills east of the Litani River in Lebanon's Beqaa Valley, about 85 km (53 mi) northeast of Beirut and about 75 km (47 mi) north of Damascus. It has a population of approximately 82,608, mostly Shia Muslims, and is reckoned a stronghold of the Hezbollah movement. It is home to the annual Baalbeck International Festival.
In Greek and Roman antiquity, it was known as Heliopolis. It still possesses some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Lebanon, including one of the largest temples of the empire. The gods that were worshipped there—Jupiter, Venus, and Bacchus—were equivalents of the Canaanite deities Hadad, Atargatis, and another young male fertility god. Local influences are seen in the planning and layout of the temples, which vary from the classic Roman design.