Baalbek, also known as Baalbeck is a town in theBeqaa Valley of Lebanon situated east of the Litani River. It is famous for its exquisitely detailed yet monumentally scaled temple ruins of the Roman period, when Baalbek, then known as Heliopolis , was one of the largest sanctuaries in the empire.
It is Lebanon's greatest Roman treasure, and it can be counted among the wonders of theancient world, containing some of the largest and best preserved Roman ruins.Towering high above the Beqaa plain, their monumental proportions proclaimed the power and wealth of Imperial Rome.The gods worshiped there, the triad of Jupiter, Venus and Bacchus, were grafted onto the indigenous deities of Hadad,Atargatis and a young male god of fertility.
Local influences are seen in the planning and layout of the temples, which vary from the classic Roman design.Baalbek is home to the annual Baalbeck International Festival. The town is about 85 km (53 mi) northeast of Beirut and about 75 km (47 mi) north of Damascus. It has a population of approximately 72,000, mostly Shia Muslims.