We at Baalbek Cellars would like to share a brief history behind the name of our business. Baalbek has played an important part in the history of wine - with the oldest known wine caves and grounds that lead to the historical Temple of Bacchus - God of Wine.
Baalbek is one of the oldest cities in Lebanon and is considered the city of the gods. Also know as Heliopolis, Phoenician in essence was the home of the Greek and Roman sun worshippers - "Baal" meaning Sun, "Beka" meaning town, or City of the Sun. Its initial purpose as a religious center continued through out the ages. It is often referred to the place where east and west have met and merged.
The Roman Temple complex of Baalbek consists of three separate temples: Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus. In fact, the largest Roman temples ever build were not in Rome, but were found in Baalbek.
It is believed that The Temple of Bacchus was constructed during the first half of the 2nd century A.D.; it being the smallest of the three temples and was the most magnificent, it took over 150 years to build. After the Roman conquest of Syria under Julius Caesar's rule around 27 B.C., Caesar was so impressed with magnificence of Baalbek and its people that he declared Baalbek a Roman colony. Caesar dedicated The Temple of Bacchus to the god of wine and good times. Bacchus was identified as a solar and growth deity, whose birth and growth promised regeneration and eternal life to the faithful. It is thought that wine and other drugs may have been used by the worshippers by the carvings of grapes and poppies found in the door jams to the entrance of the temple.
Baalbek today is a small town with a population of about 12,000 in the Beqa'a Valley - 50 miles from Beruit Thanks to the Arabs who built fortifications to preserve it and the many others who have work to bring it back to its Roman exuberance it is a must see World Heritage Site and one of our world's greatest architectural and engineering achievements!
Like Julius Caesar and the Romans we felt that Baalbek was a fitting name for our business. It is the eternal resting place of Bacchus the Wine God and encompasses our feelings of protecting the collections of all who are faithful to wine.