Lebanon: Baalbek – Temple of Bacchus
And the absolute crown jewel of Baalbek is without a doubt the beyond spectacular Temple of Bacchus. It is considered one of the greatest Roman temples ever built and it doesn’t fail to impress. The temple was built sometime in the middle of the 2nd century AD, but over the years got covered with ruins from the rest of the site and soil. It was only rediscovered in 1898-1903 by a German expedition who started to dig it out and found it almost completely intact. The Temple of Bacchus is massive, standing 66 x 35 x 31 m, just slightly smaller then the ruined neighboring Temple of Jupiter. The entire structure stands on a platform and about half of the original Corinthian columns remain. The amount of sculptures and decorations and reliefs on the walls and ceilings and frames is simply mind blowing, all related with wine and grapes (since it’s Bacchus, the god of wine) – this is some of the best preserved Roman ornamentation in the world.