The Mediterranean port city of Beirut has had a long — and at times very tumultuous — history, and religion has played a fundamental role in that history. Travelers wanting to gain a deeper understanding of life and history in Lebanon should visit a few religious sties in Beirut.
Moussa Castle in Lebanon is one of the country’s stranger, yet no less fascinating, attractions. Located atop a hill between Deir El Kamar and Beiteddine, the castle was built by a young visionary by the name of Moussa Abdel Karim Al Maamari.
Lebanon’s unique cultural history has helped to make its cuisine the most popular in the Middle East. Having been ruled by foreign powers for much of its existence, Lebanese cuisine has absorbed influences from a number of varied sources.
Nightlife is not really something you need to look for in Beirut — it is just about everywhere. The city really never sleeps, and as the ‘Party Capital of the Middle East’ there is something to satisfy nearly all tastes, with some of the coolest pubs, clubs and underground hotspots in the region.
Beirut is not really a city designed with pedestrians in mind, something you’ll notice fairly quickly due to the obvious lack of sidewalks. Furthermore, private transport is pretty much the norm, making public transportation fairly limited in comparison with other large cities. That said, here is the lowdown on getting around in Beirut.
On a high hill overlooking the Mediterranean some 30 miles south of Beirut lies the pilgrimage town of Maghdouche, famous for its 90-foot (30-meter) bronze Maronite shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Overlooking the Bay of Jounieh on the Mediterranean coast, Harissa is a mountain village that draws Christian pilgrims from around the world. A short drive away from Beirut, the main reason visitors come to Harissa is to visit the Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine, a 15-ton bronze statue of the Virgin Mary. It is one of Lebanon’s most renowned man-made landmarks.
Lebanon’s capital city was once called the ‘Paris of the Middle East’, and prior to the civil war thrived as the major commercial and tourist center of the Middle East. Beirut has survived a long and turbulent history that goes back more than 5,000 years, making the city chock-full of historical sights.
Beirut is an evocative cosmopolitan city well worth a few days of exploration, but there is much more that Lebanon has to offer for those with the time to explore the country further. Some of the Lebanon’s best attractions can easily be done on a day trip from Beirut. Here is a sampling of what’s on offer.