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Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, is mentioned as early as 1400 before Christ. Beirut has thus a long and fascinating history. In 1894 a modern harbour was bulit, and Beirut was the most important port in the Near East until 1975.

The Pidgeon Rocks, one of the few wonders of nature in Beirut

Lebanon became independent in 1941 with Beirut as its capital.

Lebanon is a small country (about 10.000 squarekms) at the eastern shore of the Mediterranian See north of Israel and west of Syria. The population is about 4.000.000, of which about one third live in the Beirut area. The gross domestic product is about 5000 USD per capita.

During the civil war in the 1970ies and 1980ies Beirut was largely destroyed. Tourism, once very important for this city, suffered severely and the banking system serving most of the Near East collapsed.

Walls of old houses still show marks from the servere fighting during the civil war.

The standard of living is not that of Western Europe, but steadily improving.

A huge war memory. This building apparently blown empty is of no use to anyone at least at this time

The hotel capacity in Beirut is now good, with all kinds of hotels from luxury apartments to small cozy hostelries. So, once again, Beirut is a nice place to visit and a nice place to stay in.

More about Lebanon and Beirut can be found here. And if You want to listen to popular Arab music from Lebanon 24 hours aday - just tune in to Radio Lebanon.

Beirut was once "Paris of the Near East". New hotels are being built and supposedly in the very near future, Beirut will once again be the centre of fashion and culture in this region of the world.

These pictures are memories from a short vacation trip to Beirut on New Years Eve 2003.


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