Sidon, on the coast 48 km from Beirut, is today the South of Lebanon's commercial
and finan-cial center. At one time, this Lebanese city used to be one of the famous
names in ancient history.
was one of the most outstanding of the Phoenician City states, but unfortunately
its past is mainly a mystery for it has been tragically pillaged and scattered.
Its most beautiful ancient objects were taken in the last two centuries and can
be seen in museums around the world.
Few historic marks:
The ancient city of Sidon was built on a promontory facing an island, so as to
shelter its maritime fleet.
Its Phoenician period began around the 12th century BC and reached its zenith
during the Persian Empire (550-330 BC). Under the Persians, Sidon held a special
position because of its Phoenician god of healing, was built. Glass manufacture,
the production of the rare purple dye and its active harbor gave it superior status
among the Phoenician city states.
the prosperity of Sidon, like other Phoenician states, brought a succession of
The Hellenistic age of Sidon began in 333 BC and from then on it underwent a constant
succession of changing conquerors.
Romans, Byzantine, Crusaders, Mamluks, and the Ottomans
all arrived on the shore of Sidon, marked their stay
with magnificent archeological monuments, and left to
make way for the next superior power of the time.
There are many remnants left of these bygone ages, such
as the landmark crusader sea castle, the medieval picturesque
vaulted souks, the castle of Saint Louis, the ancient
ports, the Great Mosque and the Necropolis. But, there
is thought to be much more archeological sites buried
under the modern city of Sidon which is inaccessible
to the public.