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Beirut Hippodrome, Beirut

3.7
#5 of 12 in Fun & Games in Beirut
Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, is home to two hippodromes, a historic one from the Roman era and a modern one that was built in the late 19th century.Roman Hippodrome of BeirutThe Roman Hippodrome, which occupies 3500 m² near the Maghen Abraham Synagogue in Wadi Abu Jamil, the historic, Jewish quarter of Beirut, was discovered in 1988. The Roman Hippodrome of Beirut was the second to be discovered in Lebanon after the Tyre Hippodrome, making Lebanon home to two of the five known Roman hippodromes in the Levant, the other three being in Caesarea in Israel, Jerash in Jordan, and Bosra in Syria. The Roman Hippodrome of Beirut is considered to have been the grandest of the five, having amphitheaters that are several meters high and a race track, which is more than 90 meters long.PreservationIn 2009, Culture Minister Tamam Salam, had the site listed officially in the general inventory of historic buildings, ruling that it should be preserved in situ and turned into a tourist landmark.According to an article appearing in the French daily, L’Orient le Jour, Gaby Layoun, the Culture Minister at the time, approved in March 2012 plans for a luxury residential complex to be built over the ruins of Beirut’s Roman Hippodrome, bypassing the recommendations of three of his predecessors: Tarek Mitri, Salim Wardé, and Tammam Salam. The three previous Culture Ministers, Mitri, Wardé, and Salam criticized Layoun's move and reiterated the importance of protecting and preserving the archeological site. A march to protest the destruction of the hippodrome took place on March 24, 2012. The Association for the Protection of the Lebanese Heritage (APLH) organized the protest as an attempt to reverse the Culture Ministry's decision to allow the building over the hippodrome. Following the litigation brought by the Association for the Protection of Lebanese Heritage (APLH), the court suspended on May 31, 2012 the Culture Ministry's decision, N˚ 849, to dismantle the Roman Hippodrome that would have allowed for the construction of a building project on the site. The site is protected for now.
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Beirut Hippodrome Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
23 reviews
Google
4.0
TripAdvisor
  • One of the few open and green spaces, if you like getting on Horses, it is the place for you, but mainly they have these lovely fairs which one of them is the garden show, where gardeners and Nursery ...  more »
  • For the punters or for fun, amazing atmosphere! I played, I lost! To do if you have some free time.
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  • I’ve been yesterday there for the vinifest 2018. It was reAlly crowded and traffic blocked the road. I think that this hippodrome needs a lot of improvement and I didn’t like it when I saw horses encl...  more »
Google
  • A great place to visit history in Lebanon this should be on every traveler guide
  • Nice green area inside of Beirut city... Horse racing on weekends... Special events are held there... Cool area in Beirut where you can see trees... It is recommended...
  • Lovely outdoor space to hold events! In reality though it should be open to all as a public space since Beirut greatly lacks that. For large events such as the annual Garden Show, I would suggest taking a cab as the parking is disorganized, sandy (not asphalt or paved) and super chaotic. Plus parking isn’t free so may as well avoid the whole hassle.
  • Nice space that is full of history but unfortunately it’s not well kept and maintained.
  • Sport activities, celebrations, fairs
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