Two thousand years ago Berytus
was a great Roman city with many beautiful temples, theaters
and public buildings. While most of these monuments have disappeared,
a few Roman remains survive. One of these is a 1st century BC
public bath just behind Bank Street.
Continually inhabited since the dawn of history, Beirut has
been built and rebuilt over the centuries by the Canaanites,
Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs. Everyone of these civilizations
constructed cities in the same small seaside area that now composes
Beirut. The new Beirut, although modern, is traditional
in spirit, skyscrapers have been kept to a minimum and a sea
view has been retained whenever possible. The reconstruction
project has made use of the ancient street grid-in many places
identical to the pattern in Hellenistic and Roman times.