The Visitor
In the words of the Belgian artist Arne Quinze,“Stilt houses have the appearance of fragile, vulnerable people, who keep on standing and surviving in every context, despite their thin legs. They are proof of man’s incredible flexibility.”
The SkyRing
Spanish artist Lluis Lleo turns Souk Arwam’s ceiling into a meeting of cultures between two historical Mediterranean cities, depicting the road from Beirut to Barcelona in red, where “from the bottom of the sea we can see the blue sky.”
Promenade à l’Hippodrome
Spanish artist Xavier Corbero renders Bab Idriss Square, home to the ancient street that led to the Roman Hippodrome, into an outdoor art museum. The 16 basalt and two cast iron sculptures evoke a group of people on their way to the races.
Part of the Spaghetti Benches, a series of works that French-Argentinian artist Pablo Reinoso experimented with around the world. At the Jewelry Souk, the three benches entitled Gloriette express freedom of movement, branching towards the sky and intertwining.
Al Antabli Fountain
Originally built in the Ottoman period, the fountain became associated with the nearby Al Antabli sweets and cocktails shop of the pre-Civil war era in Souk Ayyas. A new fountain was built at the same location to pay homage to this landmark.
Medieval Wall and Moat
Built around the 9th century, Beirut’s city wall was dismantled at the beginning of the 20th century. Souk al-Jamil was built over the backfilled moat, which has been restored and landscaped into a sunken garden.
Phoenico-Persian Quarter
A Phoenician settlement, dating to the Persian period, overlooked the city near the harbor. Following its excavation, the quarter is integrated into the Beirut Souks landscape on Fakhry Bey Street.
Al Majidiyyeh Mosque
Originally a fort, the building was converted into a mosque in the mid-19th century and named after Sultan Abdul Majid. Damaged during the Civil War, the mosque was restored in 2004.
Byzantine Mosaics
In Byzantine times (5th and 6th centuries AD), the floors of shops and houses in the Souks area were laid with mosaic tiles. Some of these mosaics were salvaged during the archeological excavations of the mid-1990s. One has been reconstructed and laid in the modern souks close to its original alignment within the colonnade of the Roman Street that once led through Bab Idriss.
Zawiyat Ibn Arraq
Beirut’s only remaining Mamluk structure, built in 1517 by the religious authority Mohammad Ibn Arraq al-Dimashqi. Initially a hospice, it remained a private madrassa (college of jurisprudence) and a zawiya (prayer corner) until late Ottoman times.
Jewelry Souks
The Jewelry Souk enclave houses two-floor pavilions linked by a network of charming passages and squares. From the central square, a shaded lane, reminiscent of the old “Souk el Sagha”, leads into Souk Ayyas down to Ajami Square.