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Sidon 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 Sidon 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.

That flourish the life in Sidon, many were the buildings related to that era such as the Temple 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.  

Sidon was too feeble to resist the triumphal march down the coast of Alexander 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.  

It’s recommended to visit the two castles, the sea castle and the land castle.

The sea castle is a fortress built by the Crusaders in the early 13th Century, built to protect the harbors and to ensure the safe landing of men and supplies from Europe. The land castle of known as the castle of St. Louis was built by the Crusaders during the Frankish occupation of the city. This fortress is know as St Louis cause the French King, Louis IX, recognized as St Louis , and appears that he spent a long time in the city. The citadel was possibly entirely demolished, then rebuilt by the Arabs.

The Souks and Khan el Franj

Not far from the Sea 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, Sidon ’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.

The Great Mosque

On the way to the Castle of St. Louis, from the southern side of the Souk, the Great Mosque appears. He replaced the Church of St. John, the previous building and what remain from it date back to the 13th century.