Unearth 7000 years worth of history and civilisation on a Lebanon holiday in the world’s oldest continually inhabited city, Byblos. Also known in Arabic as Jbeil, this historic site boasts of an ancient lineage that is unrivalled in the entire world.
Byblos lies north of Beirut and was once a powerful and independent city-state, long before Rome and Greece reigned supreme. Almost two dozen successive levels of human culture have been formed in this city, leaving behind rich archaeological treasures worth exploring on Lebanon holidays.
Although Byblos is now considered a modern city, its attractions are magnificent displays of its eventful past. The remains of ancient Phoenician temples flaunt the architectural treasures of that era. The L-shaped temple, constructed around 2600 B.C., features stone bases for its wooden posts, a characteristic building technique of the period. Also a must-see is the Temple of Baalat-Gebal, built in honour of the goddess with the same name, who is also known as the lady of Byblos.
Travel back to the time of the crusades in Byblos Castle, built by the Crusaders in the 12th century. The castle was once captured by Saladin, the former sultan of Egypt and Syria, but was reclaimed by the Crusaders in 1197. There is a deep moat around the castle, and tourists can climb the top to get a nice view of the town and the harbour.
The Byblos Wax Museum tells the long story of the city through the wax statues of renowned figures and scenes from the Phoenician era to modern times. Some of the wax sculptures include Cadmus writing the Phoenician alphabet; Gibran Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese-American artist, writer, and poet; and Ahiram, the Phoenician king of Byblos.
Other Byblos attractions include the Medieval City Wall, St. John the Baptist Church, and Historic Quarter and Souks.