Lebanon is known for beautiful mosques with intricate architecture, historically rich ancient sites, and scrumptious Middle Eastern cuisine.
Lebanon is a Middle Eastern country in West Asia. It sits on the Eastern coast of the famous Mediterranean Sea, sharing borders with Israel and Syria. Arabic is the most common language among Lebanese people; however, most are also fluent in French due to colonization.
What Is Lebanon Known For?
Lebanon is famous for its castles, whether they are ancient remains or well-preserved grounds. Similarly, temples are significant in Lebanese culture because of the emphasis on religion and discipline. Lastly, Lebanon is known for serene natural landmarks such as mountain resorts and relaxing beaches.
History, Culture, and Traditions Lebanon Is Known For
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War is one of the most significant conflicts that the country has suffered. Almost 120,000 fatalities were recorded over the 15-year course of the war.
In 1975, tensions were high for a culmination of reasons. Firstly, there was a pre-existing conflict between two Muslim subdivisions: Sunni and Shia. This was worsened by the assignation attempt of Pierre Gamayal, a prominent politician at the time.
All of these factors together caused riots, uprisings, and more. Finally, The Taif Agreement of 1990 helped to calm the relationship between Lebanon and Syria, in addition to an amnesty law that absolved all of the previously committed political crimes.
The Dabke is a unique combination of line and circle dancing. It’s a special dance that Lebanon is famous for, performed at weddings, ceremonies, and festive celebrations.
The rough translation from ‘dabaka’ means to stomp and make noise, which originates from Levantine countries. As a result, this dance is popular in Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria.
Additionally, traditional dress is worn during the dabke. This includes a long flowery dress called a ‘thobe’ for women, and a square scarf called a ‘keffiyeh’ to cover their head.
Baalbeck International Festival
The International Festival is an annual celebration held in the Beqaa Valley, in the imperial city of Baalbeck. Dating back to 1955, the festival’s purpose was to promote Lebanese culture and bring different demographics together.
Lasting over two weeks, the festival is one event that exceeds all expectations. There are live singing performances, orchestras, and other theatrics performances. People gather in the crowds around the Temple of Bacchus and immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere that Lebanon is famous for.
Lebanon is home to the colossal Mount Lebanon, housing six premium mountain ranges.
The Cedars Ski Resort in Bsharri is the oldest and has the highest peak. Hence, the slope is perfect for experts and makes for a challenging run. On the other hand, Mzaar Ski Resort is one of the most luxurious. It’s a huge, family-friendly resort with a children’s park, snowmobile, and zipline.
The history of skiing in Lebanon was made more prevalent due to French colonization at the end of World War I. As armies would train on the slopes, it became a more popular sport.
Cities And Travel Destinations Lebanon Is Known For
Beirut is the famous capital city of Lebanon that’s bursting with history and culture. If you are ever wondering what is Lebanon known for, the chances are it will be found in Beirut.
It’s known as the ‘Paris’ of the Middle East thanks to its charming attractions. Being a coastal city, there are several romantic beaches in Beirut that will certainly catch your attention, such as the sandy Tyre Beach. Similarly, Zaitunay Bay is a long marina with enchanting waterfront cafes.
Beirut is also known for its religious sites, as the two dominating religions are Islam closely followed by Christianity. The Mohammed Al-Amin Mosque, and the St. George Maronite Cathedral, are amongst the most popular.
Tripoli is the second largest city in Lebanon and the furthest northern port. It has a long history dating back to 1400 BCE and was the port city of Damascus.
Aside from its pristine beaches, the city is famous for its historical buildings. Some of them are famous Lebanese landmarks, including the 13th-century Mansouri Great Mosque and the Tripoli Citadel.
Tripoli, meaning ‘three cities’, was originally a combination of Arwad, Sidon, and Tyre. It’s not to be confused with Tripoli in Libya, which is why it’s often termed the ‘Levantine Tripoli’.
Sidon is an important city in Lebanon once known for its manufacturing capabilities. Purple dyes are one of the interesting and well sought after products from this city. The manufacturing process actually includes cracking the shell of a rock snail. The color connoted royalty and sophistication which makes it popular.
Biblically, it was known to be the first place where Jesus performed a miracle, turning water into wine! Nowadays, Sidon remains the home of noble religious landmarks that Lebanon is famous for such as the Saint Elias Cathedral and Saint Nicholas Catholic Church.
Landmarks And Architecture Lebanon Is Known For
National Museum of Beirut
The National Museum of Beirut is a vast archaeological museum with over 100,000 artworks in its collection. It opened in 1942, inspired by Egyptian Revival architecture. Unfortunately, wars, conflicts, and natural disasters have impacted the museum over the years and destroyed some pieces.
Collections in the National Museum of Beirut go as early as the Lower Paleolithic era. Additionally, there are artifacts from the Bronze Age, and Roman Period, that have had a huge influence on Lebanese architecture.
Lebanon is famous for its ancient citadels. A fun fact about Lebanon is that it’s home to the oldest inhabited city in the world, Byblos. Herein lies the Byblos Castle, built in the 12th century.
The castle was built from limestone as well as remaining Roman structures. It has been reconstructed many times due to invasions and natural disasters. As a result, much of the structure was relocated to the National Museum of Beirut.
Zaitunay Bay has a commercial array of attractions. The waterfront promenade is home to traditional restaurants, extravagant boutiques, and fun family activities.
If you’re visiting with kids, there are several water sports opportunities. These include jet skiing, scuba diving, and sailing. Whilst you are waiting, you can explore the local cafes and grab a drink while enjoying the refreshing breeze and striking sea view.
The nightlife of Zaitunay Bay is unmatched, with a lively promenade featuring wine bars, clubs, and high-end stores. It is perfect for young adults and couples.
Mohammed Al-Amin Mosque
The main religion of Lebanon is Islam, with over two-thirds of the population actively practicing it. Accordingly, there are several beautiful mosques that Lebanon is famous for.
The Mohammed Al-Amin Mosque is the biggest in Lebanon and is one of the leading structures inf the skyline of Beirut.
The mosque’s large domes are decorated with blue tiles, hence giving it the alternative name of “blue mosque.” Surrounding the main dome are four colossal minarets, which add to the grandiose style of the structure.
Food Lebanon Is Known For
A national food that Lebanon is known for is widely regarded to be Kibbeh. It’s a main dish made up of ground meat combined with spices and shaped into balls.
Usually, the meat in kibbeh is beef, however, it can also be substituted for lamb. This is then wrapped in bulgar wheat, as well as onions and pine nuts. Finally, it’s fried until it reaches its characteristic golden-brown color.
It is one of the traditional Lebanese food that you just have to try when visiting the country.
Similarly, falafel is another deep-fried street food that Lebanon is famous for. However, it’s a popular vegetarian alternative that uses chickpeas instead. The patty is then shaped like a ball and fried.
Unlike kibbeh, falafel is often eaten inside warm, homemade pita bread. Additionally, it can be topped with tahini, a rich sesame sauce. Due to their convenience, falafels are sometimes eaten as breakfast in Lebanon as well!
Much of the famous food in Lebanon is eaten with hummus. This dish is sold worldwide yet is much better when made traditionally at home.
The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas and tahini. They are blended with a variety of other condiments such as lemon juice, giving the dip a tart flavor. Subsequently, it’s garnished with chives and olive oil, which is a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient that is abundant in Lebanese cuisine.
Don’t forget to conclude your delicious meal on a sweet note with some Lebanese desserts and tea.
Famous People From Lebanon
Amal Clooney is a famous barrister and celebrity figure.
Born in Beirut, Clooney was the daughter of a political journalist mother, and father. She attended university in Oxford and hence gained British Citizenship.
Clooney has had many high-profile cases and is a successful barrister. In addition, her activism has given her much recognition. Along with her husband, The Clooney Foundation was founded for victims of abuse.
Elie Saab is a prominent fashion designer from Lebanon. He has had global success, as evidenced by his fashion houses in France and Italy.
Lebanon is famous for modest yet embellished fashion, which Saab aims to replicate in his designs. He specializes in bridal couture which is intricately detailed and embroidered.
One of his best achievements of Saab was being the first Lebanese designer to dress an Oscar Winner, Halle Berry.
Mika is a singer-songwriter from Beirut who rose to fame in 2007 with his debut album ‘Life in Cartoon Motion.’ Since then, he has toured the world and been nominated in global award shows such as the World Music Awards and Teen Choice Awards. Mika also performs at charity events and even hosted the Le Gala des Pieces Jaunes in 2023.
So, what is Lebanon famous for in terms of music? The genre of pop, which Mika is recognized for, is prevalent because of its mass appeal. Rock has gained increasing popularity since the Civil War.
Discovering More Things Lebanon Is Known For
From its well-preserved sites and religious buildings to its mouth-watering cuisine and stunning landscapes, Lebanon is known for many things that are worth exploring. While it may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of travel destinations due to the safety concerns surrounding the country, it can be a real adventure if you’re looking for something off the beaten path.