Nearly 2000 years old, and constructed on a place where much older remains have been discovered, the Temple of Bel is an important example of the magnitude of ancient Palmyra. Named after "Bol", the supreme God the like of Greek Zeus or Roman Jupiter, the name Bel was assumed after Babylonian usage. The temple has survived centuries of siege, earthquakes and the erosion of time.
The temple is found in the middle of a larger courtyard. An impressive number of columns are still standing, or have been erected by reconstruction works in recent times. Many columns are finely decorated at their top. But a lot of fallen parts of columns lie everywhere. I felt admiration for those workers working under the scorching sun on further reconstruction of the complex.
The temple itself can only be entered through a beautifully decorated entrance gate. On the right hand side, two pieces of cross-beams are on display. On them, various figures depicting processions, gods, and other scenes can be seen. It is also possibile to look under the large stones, where even better preserved scenes can be seen. The temple itself is small but the ceiling must have been very high. It is here that you can find some shadow and let your fantasy go about the holiest temple of Palmyra.
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