, wjt]1 advantage. On the north side of the modern village is a ruined mosque (see page
6-) which contains a large number of beautiful columns of syenite and porphyry, taken from
the courts of the temple, reminding one of the vast collection of ancient columns of various
styles of architecture now standing in the Mosque El 'Aksa, in Jerusalem. There are ten
columns of red syenite polished, and eighteen of the native limestone, all with limestone capitals.
The ancient walls of the city of Ba'albek were some two miles in extent, but hardly a trace
of them now remains, excepting on the south-west side, where its shattered towers and
battlements stand out on the hillside in bold relief against the sky. And near the hotel of
Arbid you pass through the ruins of the wall, on entering Ba'albek from the west.
About one half-hour's ride south-west from the ruins is the very picturesque ruin called
Kubbet Duris, or Dome of Duris, consisting of eight polished columns of Egyptian granite,
supporting a clumsy structure of limestone blocks (see page 452). The columns were evidently
brought from the temples, and one of them is upside down. It was no doubt the tomb or
chapel of some Muslim saint, as a sarcophagus stands on end for the mihrab, to show the
direction of Mecca.
Near one of the mills on the south-east side of the Lesser Temple a beautiful shell-topped
canopy from the ruins has been set up as a mihrab, and the well-polished flat stones a few yards -
distant show that the faithful have prayed here for many years.
We now return to take a farewell look at the Acropolis and a last ride around the gigantic
walls. We may spend hours in walking slowly around the cyclopean structure, no part of
which is more impressive than the north-west corner, where the colossal stones of the
substructures ever fill one with awe, and the great stones along the moat on the north side are
a marvel of the cyclopean work of the builders.
One of the best views in or around Ba'albek is in the month of April, from the great
quadrangle, as you look through the ruins towards the west, with the six columns as a foreground,
the green plain of the Buka'a and Sahel Belad Ba'albek beyond, and the snow-crowned summits
of the Lebanon in the distance. The deep blue sky, the indescribable transparency of the air,
and the brilliant orange tint of the ruins in the morning sunlight, combined with the gleaming of
the distant snow, form a picture kept among the choicest treasures of memory, and preserved
hi the portfolio of many an artist and amateur.
There is, however, another spot which, for a morning view, is unsurpassed. In the
extreme north-west corner of the enclosure of the six columns (see page 468) is a low opening
through the wall. Creeping through, you come out upon the square tower of the north-west
corner into what was once a corner room or chapel, the plaster lining of the wall still being
visible. Below you are the colossal stones of the northern Phoenician wall, where the " Hajr
Hubla ' (see page 473) was designed to lie, and before you a view of Sahel Ba'albek and
•orthern Lebanon which can never be forgotten. From this shady retreat I lately had a
8 of the sun rising on Lebanon, which I would recommend to all visitors to this city of