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Palmyra’s temple of Bel unique Oriental and Western mixture

The ancient city of Palmyra is home to many ancient temples, palaces and tombs, reflecting the city's cultural richness as one of the most prominent kingdoms of the East, once competing with Rome and extending over vast areas.

The Temple of Bel, Palmyra One of Palmyra's distinguishing monuments is the Temple of Bel, whose oriental and western decorations reflect its greatness as one of the most important milestones of the old Orient, Syrian Archaeologists say.

Ttemple of Bel, PalmyraThe Temple, which dates back to the 1st century A.D., was constructed over the rubble of a temple dating back to the Hellenistic Age. The temple was dedicated to god Bel.

Corinthian Column in the Temple's Portico. The Temple consists of a square courtyard encircled by a wall. In the middle of the courtyard is the main sanctuary and the gods.

Temple of Bel, PalmyraThe hallway is decorated with legendry scenes as well as decorations of animals, plants and geometrical shapes. The roof was hoisted on stone girders.

Temple of Bel_lintel (detail) The first girder has a decoration of two gods with an altar in-between, and the second is decorated with a depiction of Palmyra Circumambulation, with the god Bel surrounded by priests and worshippers.

The temple had remained dedicated for worshipping Bel in keeping with the beliefs prevalent then until the 3rd century A.D. the Temple turned into a church during the Byzantine era and a fort in the 12th century A.D.

Author: M. Ismael | Source: Global Arab Network [December 18, 2010]


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