Shopping
Eat & Drink
Attractions
Activities
Events
Gold Souks
Roman Hippodrome

By Xavier Corbero

Art

  • Spaghetti Benches

    “Spaghetti Benches” are a series of works that French-Argentinian artist Pablo Reinoso has experimented with in diverse places and in different forms. At the courtyard of the Gold Souks, we find 3 of these benches doing what they do elsewhere: expressing freedom of movement, branching towards the sky and intertwining after finishing their intended role as street furniture.

  • A promenade Toward the Roman Hippodrome

    15 exceptional sculptures embrace the scenery from Bab Idriss Square to the Roman Hippodrome, as Spanish international artists Xavier Corbero renders the city into an outdoor art museum. These artworks are all made from basalt extracted from a particular quarry in the suburbs of Barcelona. With nature as a muse, they took him three years to complete: “Nature opens the doors of imagination and imagination opens the doors of reality”, states Corbero, whose 
    masterpieces welcome the spectators to set free their imaginative minds.

  • The Skyring

    Souk Arwam’s ceiling becomes a cross-cultural meeting point with the Spanish artist Lluis Lleo. On a white circle, the road from Beirut to Barcelona is portrayed in red, bringing together through mountains and valleys, these two historical cities. Lluis Lleo’s artwork decorates and reflects the common culture shared by these two Mediterranean cities. “from the bottom of the sea we can see the blue sky through a skyring”, the artist said.

  • The Visitor

    Passing by Souk Ayyas Square, it is impossible to miss the iconic, bright orange, stilt house-like sculpture by Belgian international artists Arne Quinze.  In the words of the artist, “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.” With this rendering of a stranger visiting the city, the artist hopes that visitors to the Souk will continue their walk with an open mind and see things with new eyes.

History

  • Zawiyat Ibn Arraq

    Beirut’s only remaining Mamluk building, built in 1517 by the religious authority Mohammad Ibn Arraq al-Dimashqi. Initially a hospice, it remained a private madrasa (college of jurisprudence) and a zawiya until late Ottoman times.

  • Byzantine Mosaics

    In Byzantine times, the floors of shops and houses in the Souks area were laid with mosaic pavements. The excavations of the mid-1990s revealed round seven hundred square meters of 5th and 6th century AD mosaics.

  • Antabli Fountain

    The fountain, originally Ottoman, became associated with the sweets and drinks prepared by the Antabli family. It was a popular destination in Souk Ayass until 1975. A new fountain was built at the same location to pay homage to this landmark.

  • 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.

  • Phoenico Persian Quarter

    A Phoenician quarter dating to the Persian period, overlooked the city near the harbor. It is situated in today’s Foch-Allenby district.

  • City 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.