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Monday, 28 May 2012

Baalbek



Baalbek is a city in eastern Lebanon famous chiefly for its magnificent, excellently preserved Roman temple ruins. It was a flourishing Phoenician town when the Greeks occupied it in 331 B.C. They renamed it "Heliopolis" (City of the Sun)
It became a Roman colony under the Emperor Augustus in 16 B.C..On its acropolis, over the course of the next three centuries, the Romans constructed a monumental ensemble of three temples, three courtyards, and an enclosing wall containing of some of the most gigantic stones ever crafted by man. However these stones had been in position for many thousands of years before the arrival of the Romans. Some tourists believe that the construction can only be attributed to extraterrestrial artwork .
The Ancient Sumerians called Baalbek “The Landing Place”

At the southern entrance of Baalbek is a quarry where the stones used in the temples were cut. A huge block, considered the largest hewn stone in the world, still sits where it was cut unknown thousands of years ago. Called the "Stone of the Pregnant Woman", it is 21.5m x 4.8m x 4.2meters in size and weighs an estimated 1,700 tons. The massive multi-level platform found at Baalbek, is believed by some scientists to be one of the "only" prediluvial sites that survived the flood. At a much later time, it became very well known to the Romans, who desecrated the site to build their magnificent temples. In fact, the largest Roman temples ever built were not in Rome, but were found at Baalbek. One of the most puzzling aspects of the ruins at Baalbek are the 1,000-plus ton stones which formed part of the original temple platform. A recent visit to the site allowed inspection of these large stones, and of the one at the quarry, where new measurements were taken which revealed the largest and most precisely cut stone at the Trilithon may weigh in at over 1,500 tons. The largest modern cranes in the world would have difficulty in lifting, let alone moving, these massive limestone blocks, and yet there they sit..
There are many legends which suggest that Baalbek was built by super-human powers in an epoch long before human civilization began.
The Arabs believed that Baalbek once belonged to the legendary Nimrod, who ruled this area of Lebanon. According to an Arabic manuscript, Nimrod sent giants to rebuild Baalbek after the Flood. Another legend states that Nimrod rebelled against Yahweh and built the Tower of Babel here, in order to ascend to Heaven and attack his God. According to one version of this legend, Nimrod ascended to the top of the Tower but found himself as far from his objective (Heaven) as when he had begun; after the Tower collapsed, Nimrod attempted to scale the heavens in a carriage drawn by four strong birds, but the carriage, after wandering for a long time in space, eventually crashed on Mount Hermon, thus killing Nimrod
Few modern writers have dared to tackle the enigma of Baalbek, perhaps because Lebanon was off-limits to tourists during the troubled decades at the close of the second millennium.
The best known 'alternative' theory, however, is that of ancient astronaut writer Zecharia Sitchin, who asserted that Baalbek was a space centre, built by a visiting race of 'Anunnaki' gods as a launching pad for their space rockets. An intriguing aspect of Sitchin's theory was the connection between Baalbek-Heliopolis - the City of the Sun - and the ancient legend of the Sun-god who used to park his chariot at Baalbek.
According to Estfan Doweihi, the Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon: 'Tradition states that the fortress of Baalbek... is the most ancient building in the world. Cain, the son of Adam, built it in the year 133 of the creation, during a fit of raving madness. He gave it the name of his son Enoch and peopled it with giants who were punished for their iniquities by the flood.'