Historical Sights in Sidon

March 19, 2013 by

Day Trips, Sightseeing, Things to Do

Crusader Sea Castle

Crusader Sea Castle

The third-largest city in Lebanon, Sidon is rich with historically significant travel destinations. The old city and the majority of its attractions are accessible by bus in as little as an hour from the capital, Beirut, and transportation is extremely affordable. Another option is to travel by cab (the already moderate cost of which can be mitigated by offering to split the fare with fellow travelers or pick up additional passengers along the way).

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Sidon has been constantly inhabited since Antiquity. For much of that time, it has been one of the most vibrant ports in the Mediterranean and there is evidence of this fact all over the city.

In particular, a 13th century crusaders fortress known as the Sea Castle is among the most popular sites for visiting tourists. Also worth checking out are the Eshmon Temple (an assemblage of ruins dedicated to the Phoenician god of healing), and the Great Mosque (a beautiful building located by the sea that is popular with visitors of all faiths).

The city itself was founded during the Bronze Age. Its inhabitants have been trading and plying traditional crafts and wares for long enough to make its various shopping areas and markets something to behold. Needless to say, its age and significance have also made it a target for modern archeologists seeking to explore its ancient harbor area (much of which is currently underwater).  There are a number of roman columns worth tracking down, and the so-called Throne of Astarte at the aforementioned temple is not to be missed.

John Reality

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