Photos :: Centre Ville :: Downtown Beirut

The pedestrian streets of the recently reconstructed Downtown Beirut are covered with outdoor cafes. At night these rows of cafes are packed with people watching people watch the World Cup on huge screens. As soon as a match ends, fireworks go off all around the city, while masses of cars and scooters fly around making as much noise as they possibly can. Last week after Germany won, the seaside road by the manara was shut down as people marched all over with flags.

Everyone goes crazy over the World Cup, and its really addictive! Now that I'm back in DC I'm looking forward to going out tomorrow to watch the final match on a big screen. Who am I with? I'll have to say Italy, even though the French have been playing really really well.

This area has been destroyed many times over by earthquakes, tidal waves, fires and wars. Beneath the level we walk on lies Ottoman, Mamluke, Crusader, Abbassid, Omayyad, Byzantine, Roman, Persian, Phoenician and Canaanite Beirut. Most recently the whole area was destroyed by war, and in some areas the underground ruins have been exposed.

Some areas showcase the ruins, while others try to build as fast as they can before anyone discovers anything underground. You could dig practically anywhere and find an archeological site.

Here is a site beside a stretch of outdoor cafes:

These Roman Baths near the Grand Serail were discovered in 1968-69:

Finally, here is a facade from an area across the street called Saifi Village which is marketing itself as an arts district:

Click on any of the photos and they grow! magic!


Reya Mellicker said...

Those Romans got around.

Great pics, thank you!

rania said...

thanks, reya! i'm working on posting some more!