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Crusader Era Sites - Middle East

Baalbek/Heliopolis

 

  • 637 Muslim Arabs attack and capture Byzantine fortress built within the ruins of the Roman era temple precinct.

  • 744 Devastation of the fortress area.

  • 974 Byzantines capture the fortress during the reign of Emperor John Tzimisces.

  • ca. 1090 Seljuqs Atabeg Duqaq ibn-Tutus controls the fortress with subsequent authority given to Atabeg Toghtekin.

  • 1110 Gumustekin al-Taji, governor of the fortress (an a eunuch!) attempts to sell the fortress to the Crusaders. He is prompty replaced by Buri, son of the Seljuq ruler of Damascus.

  • 1136 Fortress is captured by Zengi, ruler of Aleppo and given to Nagm ad-din Ayyub, father of Salahdin. Defenses are greatly improved.

  • 1170 Earthquake severely damages the fortress.

  • 1174 Salahdin captures the fortress.

  • 1193 Bahram-Shah, assumes control of the fortress after the death of Salahdin.

  • 1213 tp 1224 Bahram-Shah adds several towers to the fortress.

    1260 Mongols capture and devastate the fortress.

  • post 1260 Mamluk Sultan Qala'un constructs the tower next to the Temple of Dionysios, reinforces the western wall, and adds a barbican to the south gate.


Trace of a Arabic inscription inside of the fortress.

Marble chancel screen fragment with Byzantine cross. Housed in the site museum.

Raised relief cross amongst the ruins of a Late Byzantine building, north of the Temple of Dionysios.

Late Byzantine, Medieval building with raised cross; north of the Temple of Dionysios.

Late Byzantine building in foreground with Ayyubid/Mamluk walls in the background.

Southeast Medieval tower viewed from the northeast Medieval tower at Baalbek.

Entrance to the Temple of Dionysios at Baalbek.

Plan of the Temple of Dionysios at Baalbek, blue walls indicate Medieval construction.

Medieval arrowslit.

Medieval arrowslit.

Medieval arrowslits.

Mamluk tower.

Roman temple of Dionysios looking southwest.

Roman temple of Aphrodite that was converted by the Byzantines into the church of St. Barbara.

Plan of the Roman temple of Aphrodite and the temple of the Muses.

Snow capped mountains of Lebanon from the fortress of Baalbek.

Professor Michael Fuller (foreground) at the entrance to the Baalbek temple precinct.

Roman Period decorative element in the temple precinct.

Roman Period decorative element in the temple precinct.

Roman Period decorative element in the temple precinct.

Roman Period columns at Baalbek.

 



GPS DATA for Baalbek

1. Entrance to the sacred precinct
North 34 degrees 00.439' and East 36 degrees 12.348'
Approximate elevation of 1139 meters above sea level.

2. Northeast tower near the Temple of Dionysios
North 34 degrees 00.419' and East 36 degrees 12.163'
Approximate elevation of 1166 meters above sea level.

3. Northwest tower (Mamluk) near the Temple of Dionysios
North 34 degrees 00.371' and East 36 degrees 12.252'
Approximate elevation of 1154 meters above sea level.