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As the world begins to open up again, there are still places where we can’t travel: back in time. But, one new virtual experience is about to change that as you can head back 2,000 years to visit ancient Roman ruins from the comfort of your home.
Launching on March 31, “Baalbek Reborn” allows you to fly over the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Baalbek originally called Heliopolis, meaning “City of the Sun." It has a collection of ancient Roman sites and monuments that dates back thousands of years.
Virtual visitors can explore incredible landmarks like the 2,000-year-old Temple of Jupiter that’s perched on 3,000-ton stone blocks (it weighs more than the pillars of Stonehenge). The Temple of Bacchus—one of the best-preserved temples in the ancient world—is also on the Sanctuary tour. Those ruins are some of the most incredible examples of ancient architecture in the entire Roman empire. You’ll get to make a total of 35 stops along the virtual journey.
While you get a bird’s eye view of the ancient site in Lebanon as it stands today, the experience also takes you back in time. You will get to see what it was like to roam the streets in the year 215 AD when the site was booming. You’ll get to see grand halls come back to life and see into underground rooms that are typically off-limits to visitors. Without ever setting foot on a plane (or into a time machine), it’s possible to understand why Baalbek is considered one of the world’s top historic sites like Machu Picchu, Pompeii, and Petra.
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“Baalbek Reborn” is the creation of experts at the German Archaeological Institute. Bernie Frischer, a digital archaeologist and founder of Flyover Zone Productions, is known for creating tours of other historic sites like Rome and Hadrian’s Villa. He partnered with Henning Burwitz, a trained architect who works with the Institute, to provide the experience's scientific oversight and content.