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Old August 23rd, 2016, 08:01 PM   #1
WasabiHoney
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Beirut: Where old meets modern and beautiful meets ugly

Situated right in the middle of the Levantine coast, Beirut is bathed by the Mediterranean sea on two sides and surrounded by hills covered with pinewoods and shrubland, sadly increasingly gnawed on by suburban sprawl. Good viewpoints of the city can be found in the suburbs of Aaraya and Roumieh:







Beirut was at a time one of the region's main tourist destinations and its airport served as a crossroads between Europe and the Middle East. However tourism has never returned to its pre civil war levels despite government campaigns and hype by the locals, due to Lebanon's continuing political instability, inadequate infrastructure and less liberal than before social climate, as well as the emergence of nearby destinations like Tel Aviv, Cyprus and Dubai. A new airport terminal was opened in 1998 nonetheless, which was at that time the most modern of the Levant, but suffers today of some logistic and cleanliness issues and a lack of eateries and shopping options (other than the duty free shops):



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Old August 23rd, 2016, 08:01 PM   #2
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Old August 23rd, 2016, 08:37 PM   #3
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Great, very nice thread about Beirut, cat
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Old August 23rd, 2016, 08:45 PM   #4
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Thank you! But you haven't seen anything yet, there are A LOT more photos to come
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Old August 23rd, 2016, 08:50 PM   #5
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It's nice to see that you have decided to dedicate your own thread to Beirut, cat! I'll be following it for sure!
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Old August 23rd, 2016, 08:55 PM   #6
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Cool shots.
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Old August 23rd, 2016, 11:16 PM   #7
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Most of my visits to Beirut happened while accompanying my sister on her shopping trips; I would then go my own way to explore on foot the area in the vicinity of the mall and take as many photos as possible. Some of these trips enabled me to get to know areas like the restored Central District or Ashrafieh, which had plenty to see, while other trips would take us to bland and uninteresting suburbs to the east or the north of the city, but were still an opportunity to observe the city's growing skyline from the car. Here is how the skyline of Ashrafieh (the predominantly Christian area within the municipality of Beirut) appeared in 2015 from the highway following the Beirut River:





(for those interested, the names of the highest towers from left to right are: Sky Gate, Credit Libanais, Trillium, Sioufi Heights, St George Residences and Ashrafieh 4748)

And here is for comparison what the same area's skyline looked like back in 2003, albeit from a different angle:



(the highest towers visible in this photo are now concealed by the newly built ones)

We go past the luxurious residential condominiums Ashrafieh 4748:



and the Holcom headquarters, an interesting piece of contemporary architecture:

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Old August 23rd, 2016, 11:17 PM   #8
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Crossing then the Beirut River that separates the City of Beirut from its eastern suburbs:



we pass the city's main interchange in Nahr el Mawt (literally the River of Death):



and the headquarters of luxury department store Aishti, the Aishti Foundation, designed by British architect David Adjaye:



before arriving to the ABC department store in the suburb of Dbayeh, one of the Middle East's leading retailers. It was recently refurbished and clad in a recognizable black and white shell, with the addition of a belt of greenery:





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Old August 23rd, 2016, 11:19 PM   #9
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Nearby is another establishment patronized by my sister, Le Mall Dbayeh with its interesting facade:





and whose rooftop parking offers a view towards Beirut:



and the under construction Waterfront City development:

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Old August 24th, 2016, 11:40 AM   #10
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Very nice, never seen random pics from Beirut, I like this
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Old August 24th, 2016, 02:35 PM   #11
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Thanks for showing recent photographs of Beirut, it is growing again as we can see, and hopefully will receive again tourists and tradings.

If I'm not wrong, the University Campus of Beirut has some sixties projetcs from brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, including an arch in concrete, are these projects yet on the Campus?
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Old August 24th, 2016, 02:35 PM   #12
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Leaving Dbayeh and heading towards central Beirut, we pass next to the under construction Crystal Towers in Antelias:







We cross the Beirut River again and take Charles Helou Avenue with the port to our right. The area is dotted by a few high-rises (like Harbor Tower to the right of the first picture) with some more under construction:



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Old August 24th, 2016, 02:37 PM   #13
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We eventually reach the city's reconstructed Central District through Martyrs' Square, Lebanon's largest:



and take Weygand Street, one of the area's thoroughfares. The Central District is instantly recognizable by its yellow stone architecture and its skyline of historic minarets and bell towers:







Some of the city's latest luxury residential projects can be seen under construction in the background, such as 3Beirut and Beirut Terraces:

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Old August 24th, 2016, 02:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eduarqui View Post
If I'm not wrong, the University Campus of Beirut has some sixties projetcs from brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, including an arch in concrete, are these projects yet on the Campus?
I'm not aware of the university having any building designed by Oscar Niemeyer, but maybe you're referring to the International Fairgrounds of Tripoli instead? This fair has never opened however and lies today in a state of abandonment.
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Old August 24th, 2016, 03:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WasabiHoney View Post
I'm not aware of the university having any building designed by Oscar Niemeyer, but maybe you're referring to the International Fairgrounds of Tripoli instead? This fair has never opened however and lies today in a state of abandonment.
Thanks for explanation, guess this is the real project I was imagining, and maybe in next future it will be renewed, let's wait
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Old August 24th, 2016, 04:51 PM   #16
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A detailed exploration of the Central District on foot will be featured in the next pages. For the moment we leave the area through Port Street:





then turn south and east to enter the posh district of Ashrafieh, built on a hill and displaying a mixed residential and commercial character:





One of Ashrafieh's main arteries is Charles Malek Avenue:



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Old August 24th, 2016, 04:53 PM   #17
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We encounter the devoid of charm Orthodox church of St Nicolas (with the luxury residential tower Les Domes de Sursock rising behind it):



and the elegant L'Ellipse building with its palm trees, one of my favorite in the whole city:



then turn southwards at the Fouad Boutros bridge, an utterly pointless concrete slab spanning the avenue (one of the many examples of the country's lack of urban planning):



and take Alfred Nakkash street:





where the main entrance to the ABC Ashrafieh mall, one of Lebanon's poshest and best known, is located (not visible in the picture as it is concealed by trees).
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Old August 24th, 2016, 07:37 PM   #18
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Indeed cat, those Beirut updates are really very nice
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Old August 24th, 2016, 08:25 PM   #19
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The rooftop of the ABC Mall offers good views of the nearby high-rises. This picture dates from 2011, before the construction of the soaring Skygate Tower:



I set off to explore the surrounding area, and after reaching Sassine Square, usually considered as the beating heart of Ashrafieh (pictured here is the road passing below it):



I turn left and come across the Tilal Bayrut ("The Hills of Beirut") tower:





and the neighboring Atomium 5242:

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Old August 24th, 2016, 08:27 PM   #20
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A short distance away is the Byblos Bank headquarters:



and Rizk Tower, the tallest building completed in the 1970s:



behind which one finds this residential building with unusual design baptized Achrafieh 893:



Entering the narrow streets nearby, I encounter a neighborhood of impressive old buildings unfortunately in a state of decay:



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