The Qadisha valley is one of the most important early Christian monastic settlements in the world. Its monasteries, many of which are of a great age, stand in dramatic positions in a rugged landscape. Nearby are the remains of the great forest of cedars of Lebanon, highly prized in antiquity for the construction of great religious buildings.
Cedars of God
The Cedars of God, Lebanon, are one of the last vestiges of the extensive forests of the Lebanon cedar that anciently thrived across Mount Lebanon. The Phoenicians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Arabs, and Turks used their timber. The Egyptians valued their timber for shipbuilding, and in the Ottoman Empire their timber was used to construct railways.
Baalbek, This Phoenician city, where a triad of deities was worshipped, was known as Heliopolis during the Hellenistic period. It retained its religious function during Roman times, when the sanctuary of the Heliopolitan Jupiter attracted thousands of pilgrims. Baalbek, with its colossal structures, is one of the finest examples of Imperial Roman architecture at its apogee.