Sidon (Saida in Arabic)
means "fishing" for it was graced by "Qala 'At Al Baher" Castle of the Sea
built by Crusaders. Sidon is one of the famous names in ancient
history. But of all of Lebanon's cities this is the most mysterious, for
its past has been tragically scattered and plundered.
There is evidence that Sidon was inhabited
as long ago as 4000 BC, and perhaps as early as Neolithic times. The
ancient city was built on a promontory facing an island, which sheltered its
fleet from storms and served as a refuge during military incursions from the
interior. In its wealth, commercial initiative, and religious significance,
Sidon is said to have surpassed all other Phoenician city-states.
There are numerous sites of interest: The
Saint Louis Castle and the Murex Hill, 45 meters high and made of an
accumulation of shells from which the Phoenicians extracted the famous
famous purple dye. Its inhabitants were famous for their valuable art work.
Among the merchandises were pottery and glassware, ivory hairpins, valuable
objects carved in ivory and gold and jewellery set with semi precious stones