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Virtual tourism app launches to bring Lebanon’s Baalbek to life

Published: Updated:

The Lebanese Ministry of Culture has launched ‘Baalbek Reborn: Temple,’ an app through which people can take a virtual tour of the Baalbek heritage site, US-based virtual tourism pioneer Flyover Zone announced.

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The application was created in collaboration with Flyover Zone, Lebanon’s culture ministry and the German Archaeological Institute. The projects was made to raise awareness of the UNESCO World Heritage Site by providing a platform through which people could go on a virtual tour of the area for free.
During the virtual tour, users can opt to follow a guided tour of Baalbek ruins or roam around the site freely. It also comes with commentary from German Archaeological Institute’s experts and a time warp feature which shows users the current state of the site as it transforms into the way it would have looked in the third century, when it was a Roman sanctuary.

Lebanon's Baalbek ruins recreated digitally for a virtual tour app. (Flyover Zone)
Lebanon's Baalbek ruins recreated digitally for a virtual tour app. (Flyover Zone)

One partof the virtual tour’s highlights includes the sanctuary of Jupiter, one of the world’s largest temple complexes from the Roman world and shrines that have been conventionally referred to as the Temple of Bacchus, the Temple of Venus, and the Temple of the Muses.

Baalbek’s “history runs deep,” with some of the area’s earliest finds being been dated back to 8,000 B.C., according to Flyover Zone.

“Baalbek has always been a very prominent site and travelers all over the world have been traveling here for hundreds of years,” Archaeologist Henning Burwitz with theGerman Archaeological Institute, told Flyover Zone.

“We always joke that pretty much everything in Baalbek is the biggest in the world,” Burwitz added.

Snow covers the historical ruins of Baalbek in eastern Lebanon. (File photo: Reuters)
Snow covers the historical ruins of Baalbek in eastern Lebanon. (File photo: Reuters)

According to Flyover Zone, “the six columns preserved in the Temple of Jupiter — one of the biggest temples in the Roman Empire— happen to be the largest preserved columns in the world at almost 74 feet in height.”

Burwitz also said, “these six columns are iconic in Lebanon, almost like a national symbol: They’re on coins, on stamps, and more.”

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