BBC Music Magazine

Tempting temples

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While in the region it’s worth spending a day visiting the temples of Baalbeck in the Bekaa Valley. Built in the first and second centuries

AD, these are some of the greatest Roman temples ever built. There are several temples here, but it is the Temple of Jupiter and Bacchus that are the most impressive. Even more so when you discover the granite columns at the entrance were brought from Aswan in Egypt. In the great court of the Jupiter temple was a sacrificia­l altar reached by stairs from which the temple sanctuary, off limits to ordinary people, would have been visible. Although smaller, the Bacchus Temple survives more intact, its entrance decorated with intertwini­ng vines and opium poppies.

 ??  ?? An indulgence: the BacchusTem­ple in Baalbeck
An indulgence: the BacchusTem­ple in Baalbeck

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