Lebanon is one of the most fascinating countries with a mix of the West and the Middle East. Many people have started visiting this country as the food is great, the beach resorts are incredible, and there is a lot to explore. If you want to know what the country is all about then these facts about Lebanon offer a glimpse of this intriguing nation.
With a history of more than seven thousand years, you will find an old-time charm along with modernity. However, there are some areas that are not accessible to tourists because of unrest and refugees.
Here are the top Lebanese facts about Lebanon that will blow your mind.
Historical Facts About Lebanon
With a deep history stretching over a thousand years, there is a lot to know about this place. Here are some interesting historical Lebanon facts.
There Is An Ancient Temple
The Baalbek Temple is one of the top Roman temples that is still preserved, and it is located in the Bekaa Valley. It is speculated that the Roman Emperor commissioned this temple to be created back in the 2nd century AD.
However, there is no actual record of this temple until the 4th century, and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Relationship Between Lebanon And France Dates Back To The 13th Century
According to some historians and scholars, the relationship between France and Lebanon dates back to the 13th century. That is because it is believed that Louis IX protected the Maronites, which led to this good relationship.
Now, you will find that there are more than 20,000 French people that still live in Lebanon.
It Is Home Byblos (The Oldest City Worldwide)
The oldest city in the world that is still inhabited is Byblos, and it is located twenty miles from Beirut.
Excavations are common in this area, and recent ones found that this city might have been occupied since the early Neolithic period. It was one of the top cities that used to export cedar wood and much more to Egypt.
The Country Has Been Inhabited Since 10,000 BC
Africa has always been considered as the cradle of civilization but there are countries in other parts of the world that have had inhabitants for a very long time. Researchers have found evidence that shows that there were people in the region that we now call Lebanon, as early as 10000 BC.
Cultural Facts About Lebanon
The people of Lebanon are incredibly generous and hospitable, which is what the culture is all about. Of course, there is much more to this than their hospitality. Here are the Lebanese culture facts that will provide you with insight into the people:
People Love To Smoke
If there is one thing that people love to indulge in Lebanon, it is smoking. According to WHO, Lebanon is ranked 3rd for the highest consumption of cigarettes per capita. The country is trying to curb this use by banning ads about tobacco on TV and other media, which led to a 34% decrease in smoking.
People Mostly Speak Three Languages
People throughout the country mostly speak three languages. Of course, the official language and the language people speak the most is Arabic. Besides that, the top two languages that people widely use here are English and French.
You Have To Try Kibbeh When You Are There
Kibbeh is one of the most popular dishes in Lebanon, and it is also the national dish. It is an emulsified paste of bulgar wheat and fresh lamb with a lot of spices. The people turn the meat into nuggets, and then it is either stuffed inside the vegetables, or it is made on a charcoal grill.
When you get a chance to visit, be sure to explore the traditional Lebanese food and cuisine.
You Can’t Say No To Someone When You Are In Their Home
When you are in the home of Lebanese people, you can’t say no to what they have to offer. It is considered rude to reject their generosity, especially when you are in their homes.
The people will offer you a lot of food and treat you like kings and queens, and you will just have to accept it.
When visiting others, it is also customary to bring along a gift such as some tasty Lebanese sweets and desserts.
Lebanese People Are Known For Their Generosity
A place can be very beautiful with lots of attractive sites and monuments but if the people aren’t friendly then as a tourist you would think twice about visiting that place.
However if you are thinking about visiting Lebanon then you are in luck because people in Lebanon are friendly and generous. You will receive a warm welcome wherever you go.
Interesting Facts About Lebanon For Kids
With so much history and culture, kids also need to be familiar with Lebanon and everything it has to offer. You can give them this information to boost their knowledge. Here are some interesting Lebanon facts for kids they will enjoy.
It Has One Of The Highest Rates Of Public Holidays Worldwide
Lebanon has the highest number of public holidays each year. In total, there are 16 public holidays throughout the year that people enjoy. Other countries with a lot of public holidays include Cambodia and India.
It Is Part Of The Fertile Crescent
Lebanon is in what is called the Cradle of Civilization or the Fertile Crescent. It is an area shaped like a crescent that is incredibly fertile. Other places in this area include Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and more.
It Hosts A High Number Of Refugees
The hospitality of people is also reflected in the number of refugees the country hosts. Just in 2019, Lebanon received more than 1,300,000 refugees. These include Syrian, Ethiopian, Palestinian, Iraqi, and more.
There Was A Recent Explosion In Beirut
In 2020, there was a big explosion in the capital that killed around two-hundred people and injured more than 6,000. That is because there was ammonium nitrate stored in a port warehouse that blew up. The city was not prepared for this, and it was an unexpected blast.
People rushed to the aid of Lebanon and there were steps taken to mitigate the effects of the bomb. The damage done to the lives was irreplaceable.
Fun Lebanon Facts For Travelers
If you are planning to travel to Lebanon soon, here are some fun facts about Lebanon to know.
There Are Incredible Vineyards For You To Explore
The wine culture in Lebanon is ancient and dates back more than five thousand years. That is why you will find some incredible vineyards throughout the country.
This is one of the often overlooked and interesting facts about Lebanon. You can take advantage of these vineyards to learn more about wine and take in the beautiful scenery.
There Are 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites Here
You can explore the 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the country. These include four ancient cities and a valley. These sites are steeped in history and nature. While you are there, make sure to check out some of them, as they offer a window into the country’s past.
Winter Is A Great Time To Visit
Yes, winter is a great time to visit the country because you will experience snow. Besides that, there are many popular ski resorts that you can book your stay in and enjoy the incredible cold. Many people find this a surprising fact about Lebanon because not many Middle Eastern countries get snow.
Hike The Qadisha Valley
Your trip to Lebanon will be incomplete if you don’t hike the Qadisha Valley. It is the most majestic natural reserve in the country that you will experience. Anyone that loves the outdoors will enjoy this activity the most.
You can also drive through the valley if you don’t feel like hiking. Whatever you do, just make sure that you witness it at least once.
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Common Facts About Lebanon
Here are some general yet interesting facts about Lebanon to refresh your memory:
The World’s First Law School Was Built In Lebanon
This is one of the lesser-known facts about Lebanon. The first-ever law school was built in the country during the Roman Empire and possibly in the 1st Century AD.
It was built in Beirut, but unfortunately, the institution was destroyed in 551 AD. Back during this time, Beirut was also known as Mother of Law because of this school.
There Are More Than Twenty Rivers In The Country
Lebanon has around twenty-two rivers, but none of these rivers are meant for navigation. That is because they flow incredibly fast and normally plunge from the mountain canyons and into the sea. So, it is only best to enjoy the views of these rivers from the banks.
It Was The First Country In The Arab World To Privatize TV Broadcasting
Lebanon was the first country in the Arab region to grant a license for broadcasting to private companies in 1956. The rest of the countries in the Arab world jumped on the bandwagon later on and also privatized TV broadcasting.
Beirut Used To Be Called Paris Of The East
Yes, this fat about Lebanon might sound surprising for many, but Beirut used to be known as the Paris of the East. You might wonder why that would be the case, and rightly so. It was because during the 60s, Beirut had an image of being a playground for the world’s most wealthy tourists.
These tourists used to come here and enjoy their time to the maximum. Because of this, people started calling it Paris of the East.
Other Interesting Facts About Lebanon
Finally, here is some other information about Lebanon to know about.
A Piece Of Land Can Have Two Legal Owners
A piece of land in the country can easily have two legal owners. The land can be owned by one person, and the crop growth can be owned by another. It is one of the unique systems and facts about Lebanon.
Most Lebanese People Live Outside The Country
Most Lebanese people don’t live in the country, as they have migrated elsewhere. Around six to seven million Lebanese live in the country. However, eight to more than thirteen million Lebanese people live outside.
It Is The Only Middle Eastern Country Without A Desert
Perhaps a rather surprising fact about Lebanon since it is closely associated with the Middle East. The country does not have a desert or hordes of camels, as you see in other Middle Eastern countries.
So, don’t expect to find a desert climate and landscape here. Instead, the land is very diverse. This also means there are lots of varied landscapes and natural ecosystems for you to explore.
All Prime Ministers Are Sunni Muslims, And Presidents Are Maronite Christians
The National Pact is an unwritten agreement that is a sharing arrangement between people of different religions. Ever since independence, Lebanon has had Maronite Christians as presidents, and all the prime ministers are Sunni Muslims.
Discovering More Fun Facts About Lebanon
These are some of the interesting facts about Lebanon that give you an idea of the country. It has a fascinating history, miles of beaches, ski resorts, and much more for you to explore.
The culture is hospitable, the people are incredible, and you can have a nice adventure of discovery. When you visit the country, you will definitely uncover more exciting Lebanon facts. Roam around and take in the deep culture and history.