While the Central District was called the Paris of the Middle East in the 1970s, it turned into a war torn area for the next 15 years. Setting as much as a foot in this area in the 1980s was a very unwise thing to do. Still now, there are some buildings completely riddled with bullet holes, testimony to the fierce fighting that took place for such a long time here. Nowadays, however, walking around this area is a pleasure, and it makes the visitor curious to see how a war area can become a peaceful neighbourhood.
Most homes are being rebuilt, either partly or completely, and the same goes for mosques and official buildings, most of which were badly damaged as well. The area shows its historical richness through preserved and clearly displayed Roman baths and remains of temples and Roman streets. Apart from the Romans, the city has been home to Ottomans, Abbassids, Omayyads and Phoenicians, among others. Projects to uncover Beirut's history are under way. This makes Beirut a city rich in history, and its history is well integrated into modern Beirut.
But the highlight of the Central District are the new buildings and the way the constructors have succeeded in restoring some of the city's grandeur. Although at this time the neighbourhood lacks atmosphere, because not all buildings are in use, and because it simply seems to be too new, with time the area will turn into the beating heart of the reborn Lebanese capital.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from New Beyrut (Lebanon). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to New Beyrut. Read more about this site.