the APLH Brings the Case of the Beirut Roman Hippodrome to Court

the APLH’s most recent activity in April 2012 was a court overturning of a decision by none other than the Ministry of Culture, a move no NGO tried before. Some call it temerity, we call it civic duty and taking matters in our own hands.

The Hippodrome case, highlighted by an APLH manifestation in march 24, 2012,

is about a decision form the ministry of culture to grant permission to build a private

residential complex on the premices of parcel 1370, where an important part of the hippodrome is located.


Being a public site and an archeological find of utmost importance (in a basic comparison, the hippodrome of Beirut still contains the ‘spina’, while the Circus Maximus in Rome, doesnt have a spina anymore, yet it’s still preserved by the Italian government. Here in Lebanon, having more elements essential to a Roman period hippodrome, apparently doesnt encourage the Lebanese government to preserve such an archeological gem.

The spina is the middle structure in the middle of a hippodrome, around which the horses or chariots rotate to complete a race lap.



the APLH’s legal move aims to keep archeological sites like the hippodrome, open to the public, protected from private projects, restored and integrated in a fitting urban setting

that suits their importance (adequate greenery, public parks).