Great Serallo is one of the most impressive monuments in Beirut, both in terms of importance and grandeur. It is located in the city centre in a slightly elevated position, so it appears to be dominating the rest of Beirut. Surrounded by armed soldiers, the construction dates back to the late nineteenth century and is open to visitors, although it is one of the things that we missed on this trip. To get there, you'll have to go to Al Omari, then turn left a few hundred metres past the building.
This is the oldest and most prestigious part of Beirut, where you can still see one part of the old roman colonnade in the centre of the city, shortly after the Maronite Church of St. George. Recently restored, it's hard to see these ruins and imagine the beauty of the Roman site that once stood here. You can walk around it to get different perspectives.
Lebanese history is marked by conflict since its beginning. One of the places you can visit in the capital, Beirut, and learn about a horrible past, is known as the Green Line. This is one of the main streets of the city.. For years this street meant more than that. It was the border between the 2 areas in which the city was divided between the years 1975 and 1990. The Muslim and Christian. Just this great avenue was in no man's land and crossing it meant death. Guarded 24 hours a day by soldiers on both sides, no one set foot across it. This was the reason it started to grow thin grass that transformed the streets of this color: hence its name. Today hundreds of cars invade the area and the sound of horns and pollution are present. But so are the scars of those horrible times, and can be found continuously half destroyed buildings where shrapnel signs remind each of the horror of a past war.
Following the bloody civil wars and attacks on Israel that ravaged Lebanon until the year 2005, the Jewish community of Beirut, one of the most flourishing in the Middle East, has been reduced to a few members who seem to live mostly in anonymity today. The Magen Abraham synagogue, the spiritual home of practicing Beirut Jews, was severely damaged during the war, but in recent years it has been gradually restored, and on the main facade is the star of David, the symbol of the religion. In the past, there were more than 20,000 Jews living in Beirut, but now there are barely 100. Photos are strictly forbidden, and the military were watching to prevent me from taking them.