Tyre Travel Guide

Browse travel reviews, 2 travel blogs and 123 travel photos from real travelers to Tyre.

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Tyre Overview

Tyre (Arabic: صور, Ṣūr; Phoenician , Ṣur; Hebrew: צוֹר‎, Tzor; Tiberian Hebrew צר, Ṣōr; Akkadian, Ṣurru; Greek Τύρος, Týros; Turkish: Sur) is a city in the South Governorate of Lebanon. There were approximately 117,000 inhabitants in 2003,[1] however, the government of Lebanon has released only rough estimates of population numbers since 1932, so an accurate accounting is not possible.[2] Tyre juts out from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and it is located about 80 km (50 mi) south of Beirut. The name of the city means "rock" [3]. The adjective for Tyre is Tyrian, and the inhabitants, Tyrians.

Tyre is an ancient Phoenician city and the legendary birthplace of Europa and Elissa (Dido). Today it is the fourth largest city in Lebanon [4] and houses one of the nation's major ports. Known locally in French as Soûr, Tyre is popular with for tourists. The city has many ancient sites, including its Roman Hippodrome which was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1979 (Resolution 459).

There are two sites in Tyre. The first site is al-Bass. It was the entrance to a huge city and as such had the necropolis around the road leading to the main gate. Near the gate you are able to see where the Roman and Byzantine road differ, in design and height. Two great cultures, one on top of each other. What a fantastic place to see.

The gate had been a three arched structure originally, but later one of the arches was lost when the necropolis was extended.

The roman road is still there. The site also has a hippodrome. In fact it is the most well preserved example in the roman world. It was used for chariot races and is quite an impressive thing to see. There are the ruins of the aquaduct that served the city, as well.

The second site in Tyre is Al-Mina. It was impotant trading city of Greek and Roman ruins on the Mediteranean coast. It was in direct competition with the Phoenicians.

There are excellent examples of cisterns. They also have the only known square theater in the Roman world. It is believe that this was flooded and used for water games. The site also had a huge bath complex. There were excellent examples of mosaics and larger marble floor designs as well.

Al-Mina has been largely ignored in popular surveys. More recently, it has become important as the key to understanding the role of early Greeks in the east at the beginning of the "Orientalizig Period" of Greek cultural history.

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