Beirut Is Back (Did It Ever Leave?)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Forget the turmoil in the Middle East for a minute, and remember how Beirut, Lebanon’s chic capital on the Mediterranean, remains a prime destination for travelers to the Arab world (at least, those looking for kebab shops located next to hip sushi joints next to Prada stores).

As The Independent pointed our recently, things have been especially quiet since the Israeli bombings in 2006, and new spots to check out around the city are popping up everyday, including the St George’s Cathedral Crypt Museum where you can view eight archaeological layers, from Hellenistic to Ottoman, that encompass Beirut’s history, and you can see everything from “the remains of six churches that date back 2,000 years . . . sandstone tombs, 18th-century frescos salvaged from the bombed out cathedral (complete with bullet holes), a section of Roman road, and a skylight looking up into the altar of this renovated Maronite church.”

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