Roman Ruins, Tyre
Photograph by Bethune Carmichael/Getty Images
At the center of the often tumultuous eastern Mediterranean, Lebanon has preserved its ancient history, cultivated an acclaimed wine industry, and brought once glamorous Beirut out of the rubble of war.
Ancient cities like Tyre are replete with ruins, including this preserved Roman road and arch. In Roman times, Tyre was known for a precious purple dye—made from murex sea snails—that became the color of royalty.
Photograph by Blackmore/Photolibrary
Once in proximity to some of the most dramatic moments of Lebanon’s 15-year war, Beirut's palm-lined Corniche—a promenade along the Mediterranean—now fills with people enjoying its rebirth.
Monk, Northern Lebanon
Photograph by Sandy Ibrahim, My Shot
Though the majority of Lebanese are Muslim, the approximately 40 percent who are Christian—such as this monk—belong to a range of sects, including Maronite Catholic, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Assyrian, and Protestant.
Mansouri Great Mosque, Tripoli
Photograph by Christian Kober/Photolibrary
Men perform ablutions before prayer at the Mansouri Great Mosque in Tripoli in northern Lebanon.
Grape Harvest, Bekaa Valley
Photograph by Joseph Barrak/AFP/Getty Images
Workers haul buckets of harvested grapes from a vineyard in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, where the majority of the country’s wines originate. Wine has been produced in Lebanon for thousands of years.
Temple of Baalbek
Photograph by S. Friberg/Getty Images
A stone surface inscribed with Roman lettering is among the ruins at Baalbek, 40 miles (64 kilometers) northeast of Beirut. Originally founded by the Phoenicians, Baalbek was made a Roman colony under Julius Caesar, and its colossal structures are some of the largest and best preserved Roman ruins in the Middle East.
Photograph by David Evans
The moon appears in a peaceful sky above the fertile Bekaa Valley, in which Lebanon produces much of its acclaimed wine.
Photograph by Gavin Hellier/Getty Images
Young Beirutis take a break in the Beirut Central District, an area reinvigorated by large-scale construction and development following decades of damage from conflict.
Pigeon Rocks, Beirut
Photograph by David Evans
Beirut's famous Pigeon Rocks rise out of the Mediterranean waters off Avenue du General de Gaulle. The rocks are popularly viewed from the Corniche at sunset.
Fishing Boats, Byblos
Photograph by Jim Webb
Small fishing boats are moored in the port of Byblos, once the most important trade center in the eastern Mediterranean and ruled in turns by Romans, Byzantines, and Muslims.
World Record, Beirut
Photograph by Ramzi Haidar/AFP/Getty Images
Lebanese chefs celebrate around a large plate of hummus after setting a new world record in Beirut on October 24, 2009. A Guinness World Record adjudicator confirmed that it was the world’s largest serving of hummus, a traditional dish of mashed chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice that is found throughout the Middle East. A new record was set by Israel at the beginning of 2010.
Bcharre, Northern Lebanon
Photograph by Naftali Hilger/Photolibrary
Snowcapped mountains rise above Bcharre, a town in the Maronite Christian heartland along the Qadicha Valley in northern Lebanon.
Photograph by Guido Alberto Rossi/Photolibrary
A snack from a street cart is on offer in the suq in Tripoli, a city on the eastern Mediterranean coast. In the Middle East, a suq is an often extensive marketplace in which vendors sell everything from sweets and spices to clothing and jewelry.
Ancient Ruins, Anjar
Photograph by Alan Keohane/Photolibrary
The ruins at Anjar are viewed through an archway. In addition to the Great Palace, built in the eighth century A.D., the ruins at Anjar include the predecessor of a modern-day shopping mall: a colonnade with approximately 600 shops.
Nat Geo Traveler All Access
Available in print and for iPad®! See destinations come alive with 360-degree photos, videos, and more!