Architecture of Lebanon

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The architecture of Lebanon, or often referred to as the Lebanese architecture, is a resemblance of the history and culture of Lebanon. The houses are minuscule representations of family heritage and the old buildings are outlined by the history of different eras the country lived some of which left beauties of art still present till our days while others brought the unexpected. Architecture in Lebanon is mostly cultural towns and cities in Lebanon hold structures dating back a thousand of years to the dates of the nations earliest human inhabitants.

History[edit]

The first residential houses in Lebanon were the Phoenician houses,[1] which changed during time. They started first as being built from randomly collected bricks. These bricks were used to build houses which took the conformation in the shape of a rectangular box. The measurements where small for both the width and the height of the houses. The roofs where always formed from huge rocky segments. The perception deriving the method of building a house met some changes after the third millennium BC, the walls of the houses increased in height, some were built with stones, others remained rectangular but all increased in dimensions. The exterior and the interior walls where covered sometimes with mud. Lebanese houses, at the beginning of its composition incorporated the rules of the Ottoman Empire days, leading to the exit of the French mandate.

Lebanon is known for the having many famous castles built years ago in different eras. Most of the castles were built of stones, many of them are still standing today but damaged due to repeated number of civil wars that Lebanon had faced. Lebanon is one of today's most visited countries in the world due to its rich historical sites and its Mediterranean climate favored by many from all around the world.

Baalbeck[edit]

Baalbeck is counted as one of the Roman treasures in Lebanon, as in this city the ancient Roman temples are found. These temples have been built at the end of the third millennium B.C. The city was referred to as the city of the sun (Heliopolis) by the Greek.[2] The temples have face theft, earthquakes and civil wars and most of it was destroyed, which then lead to the French, German and Lebanese archaeologists to interfere and try to rebuild the temples trying to make it look as similar to the original one. In 1984, Baalbek was reported to be made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.[3] They have referred to it as being “the finest example of imperial Roman architecture”. They saw how important such structure was to the country and wanted to make it known world wide.^ The Jupiter temple is a six Corinthian columns of the great temple. It is a 22 meters high and is built on a podium. In this Temple, only six columns remain out of the 54 giant columns that originally surrounded the sanctuary.^ The little temple is found near the Jupiter Temple is known as the Temple of Bacchus it was built in the second century A.D. And considered to be the best preserved Roman temple of its size.[4]

Beirut[edit]

Beirut's history goes back to more than 5000 years. The city has a its own unique ambiance with modern buildings alongside arabesque Ottoman buildings, giving Beirut a distinctive style often not seen in other Middle Eastern cities. Beirut was also a city of glory during the Roman era. It then became occupied by different civilizations some of which were the Crusaders in 1109, the Mamluks in 1291 and then Ottomans who stayed in Lebanon for a consecutive 400 years until 1916. The country then went through a period of French mandate until 1943, and during which a touch of the European architecture was introduced.

Today, Roman and Byzantine structures are found in the city as finger prints of those eras that had passed. Beirut is famous for a group of five columns that were discovered underground in the heart of the city during late 1963. The group on columns were traced back and found to be a small part of a grand colonnade of Roman Berytus.[5]

Beit ed-Din Palace[edit]

The Beit ed-Dine palace complex was built by Amir Bechir El-Chehab II early 19th century. This palace is one of the greatest representations of the authentic Lebanese architecture and how this Lebanese culture started to be imprinted in the architecture. The palace entrance leading through the gates into an opened space which is a 107 rectangular square-kilometre long and 45 meters wide. This area was originally used in the past for cavalry practices, and for celebrations, which were attended by the public, visitors and important people of that time. The rooms inside the palace have been changed from their ordinary host accommodating nature to become a museum visited by many everyday, with the exception of keeping original pictures, transcripts and documents as they were before to ensure the history remains alive. The museum today holds a collection of ancient pottery from different eras. It also contains a collection of Romanian gold jewelery, Islamic glazed wares, and many ethnographic objects of value. This cultural venue also holds a combination of ancient and modern weapons that takes the visitors on a historic expedition.[6]

Temple of the Obelisks[edit]

Byblos is know to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world as there is a proof of civilization traced back to around 8800 years B.C.[7][8] The city contains historical ruins like the Castle and the church which were originally built by the Crusaders in the 12th and 13th centuries AD. The castle holds a historical story where it has been built, surrendered and regained by Crusaders. It takes shape of the Crusaders designs on the columns, their wall designs and the entrance structures. The castle has multiple vaults insides indicative of ancients architecture and linking back to its history.

Sidon[edit]

Sidon is a one of the very popular historic and touristic destinations in Lebanon.The two main cultural influences on Sidon were the Egyptian Pharaohs and the Greeks. The city is known for the castle of Sidon which is a castle on the sea that was built in 1228 by Crusaders. The castle was built on the remains of a Phoenician shrine dedicated to the God Melkart. This castle's location falls on an island in the Lebanese city of Saida, it is about 80 meters from the beach, linked by bridge building on a rocky nine barrages. The roof is usually used for site seeing providing an exquisite view of the port and the old remains of the city. The city Sidon by itself has become a touristic destination because of its value in the history of the country as a whole and for the beauty of its architecture.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peter Rainow, HISTORY OF LEBANON Greenwood histories of the modern nations, Greenwood Pub Group, 2010
  2. ^ Baalbek: Heliopolis, city of the sun, p. 15. Dar el-Machreq Publishers : distribution, Librairie Orientale. Retrieved 12 November 2011
  3. ^ UNESCO World Heritage Review describing Baalbek
  4. ^ Ballbek Info, Middle east countries, Retrieved on 18 November 2011
  5. ^ Samir Kassir, Malcolm Debevoise, Robert Fisk, Beirut University of California Press, University of California Press, 2010
  6. ^ Beit ed-Dine بيت الدين, barelias, Retrieved on 20 November 2011
  7. ^ Byblos Info, Middle east cities, Retrieved 19 November 2011
  8. ^ E. J. Peltenburg; Alexander Wasse; Council for British Research in the Levant (2004). Garfinkel, Yosef., "Néolithique" and "Énéolithique" Byblos in Southern Levantine Context* in Neolithic revolution: new perspectives on southwest Asia in light of recent discoveries on Cyprus. Oxbow Books. ISBN 978-1-84217-132-5. Retrieved 18 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Aḥmad ʻĀrif Zayn, (Sidon's history) تاريخ صيدا, Princeton University Arabic collection, مطبعة العرفان 1913