Baalbek is the quintessential Roman site with its towering temples. The complete temple precinct includes the temples of Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus, along with a monumental propylaea and courtyards.

With the Arab conquest of Syria in 636-637 AD, the city was fortified with a surrounding wall. The foundations of an Umayyad mosque are still visible in the city’s mosque, which was renovated in the 12th century.

In the Mamluk period, the city was known for its textile, especially cotton fabric.

Under the Mamluks, Syria experienced tremendous development. Damascus and Aleppo became major centers. At the time, Lebanon was a main supplier of sugar, grown and produced in the Bekaa. Because Baalbek was the link between these cities, it also grew substantially, became an intellectual center, with schools, mosques and a hospital (the Omari Mosque and the Fortress were built during this period) and distinguished itself as a fabric manufacturer. A special cloth was even named after the city.

The city went into decline in the Ottoman period.




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