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About Lebanon


It is here that the myth of Venus and Adonis was born. The story goes that while out hunting, Adonis was killed by a wild boar. Venus (the Phoenician goddess Astarte), who was his lover, tried to save him but she was too late. And so it is the blood of Adonis that each spring turns the torrential river to red.
Across from the grotto are the remains of the Roman Temple of Venus. Walk down the stone steps at the side of the structure to appreciate its massive size. A curved tunnel, still visible beneath the foundations, was used to channel water.
Although the temple was destroyed by the Christian Emperor Constantine (285 - 337 AD), it was later rebuilt by Julian the Apostle (362 - 363). The Adonis-Astarte fertility rite continued in Lebanon into the 5th century AD.


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