Beirut is the capital of Lebanon and is the largest city of the country. The city is located on a peninsula, which is the midpoint of the coastline of Lebanon, as it runs along the Mediterranean Sea. The city also doubles up as the largest seaport and the main one at that, for the country of Lebanon. The first mention of Beirut can be traced back to the Tell el Amarna letters of ancient Egypt; and these letters themselves date back to the 15th century BC and this city is said to have been inhabited since then.
Beirut is said to hold the seat of government for the country and has a significant role to play in the economy. The region’s cultural life, nightlife and theaters, all of it come alive here!
However, there is quite a lot more in store for the historical travel buff, who chooses to make a trip down to the beautiful Beirut.
Most people who are not from Beirut Lebanon will end up correlating the city with its bloody past with the Civil War that is said to have been in progress here for a good 15 years. This is the time of the infamous Green Line being born, which ended up splitting the city into two parts – the Muslims were on the west and the Christians on the east. This story is known to stretch a lot further than the modern strife that is seen today and the surface of the city is said to conceal a lot of ancient history, which is often not visible.
The earliest traces of habitation would be from the Stone Age, and this was when the area was said to be occupied was in fact two separate islands that were located in the delta of the Beirut River. When the river silted up later, the area is said to have become one combined land mass. The excavations that took place in the downtown area are said to have revealed the existence of a Canaanite site which, as per archeologists, can be dated back to the 1900 BC. The entrance gate is made up of dressed gate and you’d also find the remains of some Phoenician canals alongside.
The name of the city is perhaps derived from the Arabic word for ‘well’. During Phoenician times, Beirut Lebanon is said to have been overshadowed by the other regions of Tyre, Sidon and Byblos. However, ever since Alexander the Great’s conquest, it began moving up in the Hellenistic sources. Excavations conducted here have also shown traces of an extensive Hellenistic city which was said to be made earlier than the setting up of the Roman grid system. So it is possible that the Roman grid system was inspired by the city of Beirut Lebanon.