Saida Travel Guide

Browse travel reviews, 3 travel blogs and 121 travel photos from real travelers to Saida.

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Saida Overview

Sidon,or Saïda, (Arabic صيدا Ṣaydā; Phoenician Ṣydwn, Greek Σιδών, Hebrew צידון Ṣīḏōn, Turkish: Sayda) is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate of Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast, about 40 km (25 mi) north of Tyre and 40 km (25 mi) south of the capital Beirut. Its name means a fishery.

Sidon has been inhabited since 4000 BC and perhaps as early as Neolithic times (6000 - 4000 B.C.). It was one of the most important Phoenician cities, and may have been the oldest. From here, and other ports, a great Mediterranean commercial empire was founded. Homer praised the skill of its craftsmen in producing glass and purple dyes. It was also from here that a colonizing party went to found the city of Tyre. Tyre also grew into a great city, and in subsequent years there was competition between the two, each claiming to be the metropolis ('Mother City') of Phoenicia. Glass manufacturing, Sidon's most important enterprise in the Phoenician era, was conducted on a vast scale, and the production of purple dye was almost as important. The small shell of the Murex trunculus was broken in order to extract the pigment that was so rare it became the mark of royalty.

You approach the crusader castle, which is built on a natural rock formation dictating the size and shape. The path out was a man made bridge. One of the first things you notice is the circular stones in the walls.They are actually Roman column taken from Tyre. To save time and effort they recycled the columns and used them to secure the inner and outer walls to each other.

The fortress is at the mouth of the harbor and was used to protect it. There are the remains of a 12th century cathedral and great views of the city.

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