Definitions for baalbekˈbɑl bɛk, ˈbeɪ əl-, ˈbeɪl-
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Baalbek, also known as Baalbeck is a town in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon situated east of the Litani River. Known as Heliopolis during the period of Roman rule, it was one of the largest sanctuaries in the empire and contains some of the best preserved Roman ruins in Lebanon. The gods worshiped at the temple, the triad of Jupiter, Venus and Bacchus, were grafted onto the indigenous deities of Hadad, Atargatis and a young male god of fertility. Local influences are seen in the planning and layout of the temples, which vary from the classic Roman design. Baalbek is home to the annual Baalbeck International Festival. The town is about 85 km northeast of Beirut and about 75 km north of Damascus. It has a population of approximately 72,000, mostly Shia Muslims.
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