I was walking around downtown Beirut and out of nowhere I came across the Roman baths, very close to the Lebanese Parliament, down an unmarked side street. Like many sites in Beirut, don’t expect much by way of a historical explanation – there are just a bunch of empty information boards. Legend has it that there are many layers to Beirut, and that the first layer was built around 5000 years ago.
The baths have been excavated into a neat little park with seating space around. They are open and free to visit, and usually deserted because not many people seem to know about them. Although they’re relatively small compared to other archaeological sites in Lebanon, what’s amazing is that they have survived over 2000 years and remain intact despite the wars that destroyed much of the city around them. While downtown has been entirely rebuilt, this is a small corner of history which is worth visiting.