today is the third most
important Lebanese city, and it’s the capital of the south. It’s a
very ancient city it has been inhabited as long ago as 4000 B.C., and
possibly even earlier, in Neolithic times. Like most of Phoenician cities
has been built on an island becoming a refuge during armed incursions.
The Phoenician Sidon has surpassed the other cities of that era, became
the alley of the Persia Empire, provide them with ships during the
Persian-Egyptian war and Persian-Greek war, that gave Sidon
& there kings a very pleasant position during that period.
flourish the life in Sidon, many were the buildings related to that era such as the
of Eshmoun, which can be found some kilometers of the north of the city. At the end
of the Persian era the hopeless Sidonians locked their gates and immolated
themselves in their homes rather than submit to the invader. More than
40,000 died in the flames. The Persian emperor Artaxerxes III gave the
orders to take the city.
was too feeble to resist the
triumphal march down the coast of
the Great, and claimed for peace. Sidon
early in the Roman era had the status of republic (64 B.C – 330 A.D).
Before being conquest by the Byzantines and, in 667, of the Arabs.
recommended to visit the two castles, the sea castle and the land castle.
sea castle is a fortress built by the Crusaders in the early 13th Century,
to protect the harbors and to ensure the safe landing of men and supplies
Europe. The land castle of
known as the castle
was built by the Crusaders during the Frankish occupation of the city.
This fortress is know as
cause the French King, Louis IX, recognized as
, and appears that he spent a long time in the city. The
citadel was possibly entirely demolished, then rebuilt by the Arabs.
Souks and Khan el Franj
far from the
Castle, and the sea castle, is the charming old Souk of Sidon. Beside it the
Khan el Franj, It’s a construction to accommodate merchants and goods.
The khan became the center of the economic activity for the city. Later,
in the 19th Century,
’s khan housed the French consulate, a school, a convent and some other
establishments. From the terrace you can have a clear view on the port and
the Sea castle.
On the way to
of St. Louis, from the southern side of the Souk, the Great Mosque appears. He
St. John, the previous building and what remain from it date back to the 13th