Inaugurated in 1942, the National Museum is home to an extraordinary collection of important archaeological objects.
Reopened after extensive renovation, the ground floor displays around 70 large objects. The undoubted star of the collection is the Sarcophagus of Ahiram, King of Byblos, which is inscribed with the earliest known example of the Phoenician alphabet.
On this floor, as well, is a colossal statue in the Egyptian style, discovered at Byblos. Also look for statues of children used as ex-voto offerings to the healing god of Eshmoun. These were found at the temple of Eshmoun near Saida.
Other outstanding objects include a capital of bulls' heads and various mosaics representing scenes from mythology.
The first floor of the museum holds about a thousand smaller objects from prehistory, the Bronze and Iron Ages, the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods and from the Arab conquest to Mamluk times.
The National Museum’s rich collection presents a variety of archaeological finds, (sarcophagi, mosaics, jewelry, coins, ceramic, woodwork, glass, statues…) from archeological excavations sites all over the country.
The museum offers also an audiovisual room and a gift shop.
Address and Contact:
Tel: 01 426703-04
The Boutique: 01 612298
Fax: 01 612259
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
Columns with molded architraves
These columns were brought from the roman basilica's peristyle, a part of which was found in the 1940's between the "Place de l’Etoile" square and the Grand Mosque. They have been set up ever since facing the National Museum on the Damascus road.
The mosaics that we see in the middle of the National Museum square originate from a Byzantine church that was discovered in the 1950's in Khaldeh, south of Beirut, during the construction of the Beirut International Airport.