Baalbeck, Lebanon’s greatest Roman treasure, can be counted among the wonders of the ancient world. The largest Roman temples ever raised, they are built on an ancient tell that goes back at least to the end of the third millennium BC. The Romans placed the Temple of Jupiter on an enclosed court that was first built on the tell during the first millennium BC and was enlarged during the Hellenistic period. The first view the visitor has of Baalbeck is the six Corinthian columns of this temple soaring into the sky. Built on a podium seven meters above the Court, these six columns and the entablature on top give an idea of the vast scale of the original structure.

A two thousands years old city in the middle of the Syrian desert, Palmyra has been famous ever since a female monarch, Queen Zenobia, challenged the Roman emperor Aurelian by producing coins with her image upon them and dominated the lands around this city for six years. The ruins of Palmyra give an idea of the important role this city played at its height; collecting taxes and defending the eastern border of the Roman Empire from the Persians. The colonnades, the temple devoted to Bel and the funeral towers stand out wonderfully against the blue skies.

julian200Julian has written articles on Middle Eastern and European architecture for the US magazine Skipping Stones. He has written travel articles that were published in The Toronto Globe and Mail, Fate Magazine, National Catholic Register, and Northwest Travel. Julian has also written articles for the In The Know Traveler, Go Nomad, InTravelmag, and Go World Travel websites. He has also taken many photographs that have appeared in travel guides by National Geographic, Thomas Cook and The Rough Guides. Examples of his work can be found at