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Private Full-Day Tour to Sidon: Experience two Southern historical cities in Lebanon on this full day tour from Beirut. Make the most of your time and visit Sidon city, the third largest city in Lebanon. Explore the crusaders sea castle, the soap museum, Khan El Franj, and stroll into the old souks. Continue to Tyre, known as the Queen of the Seas, and discover the ancient ruins, the necropolis and the hippodrome. At the end of the day, stop at the shrine of our lady of Awaiting located in a beautiful village called Maghdouche.
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Sidon, one of the oldest Phoenician cities, was founded in the 3rd millennium BC and became prosperous in the 2nd. Sidon was famous for its purple dyes and glassware and Jesus visited it. During the Crusades, Sidon changed hands several times and was destroyed and rebuilt.
The Sidon Sea Castle was built by the crusaders in the thirteenth century on a small island, connected to the mainland by a causeway, as a fortress of the holy land. It is one of the most prominent historical sites in the port city of Sidon, Lebanon. The castle was largely destroyed by the Mamluks in 1291 and was later restored by Fakhr el-Dine Maan II in the early 17th century.
Old prints of the fortress show it to be one of great beauty, but little remains of the embellishments that once decorated its ramparts.
Khan al-Franj is one of Sidon’s main attractions. It was built in the beginning of the 17th century by Emir Fakhreddine II to be a hotel for ambassadors and a center for commercial exchange between Lebanon and France.
The hotel soon became a center for literature, religion, history, industry and diplomacy. It became a home for culture and civilization.
This is a typical khan with a large rectangular courtyard and a central fountain surrounded by covered galleries.
The Soap Museum is a museum in Sidon specialized in Levantine soaps
The soap workshop was originally built in Sidon by the Hammoud family in the 17th century.
The Soap Museum traces the history of soap making in the region, its development and manufacturing techniques. Visitors can see a demonstration of how traditional olive oil soaps are made and learn about the history of the "hammam" (bath) traditions.
A historical section of the museum introduces artifacts which were found during onsite excavation and which include remains of clay pipe heads dating from the 17th to 19th century as well as pottery fragments. The Museum building is an old soap factory built in the 17th century, although containing parts thought to date back to the 13th century.
The Debbane Palace was Built in the Old City of Sidon in the 18th century and It is now the last house of the Ottoman period remaining in a city that has since given way to traffic and glass storefronts. Approached from a narrow stairwell in the crowded Souq, the palace is built literally on top of the markets below. Inside it contains an entire world of reception rooms, stained-glass windows, rare mosaic tiles and centuries-old stables.
the Debbane Palace marks the only example of an Ottoman palace within the city walls of urban Lebanon
The souk of Sidon is the center of all the commercial activities of retail, as well as craft industry.
The souk is a maze of narrow alleyways with small kiosks, shops and cafes, street merchant, butchers, grocers, shoe-makers, tailors and jewelers.
Our Lady of Awaiting, also known as Our Lady of Mantara, is a Melkite Greek Catholic shrine in Maghdouché, Lebanon, discovered on 8 September 1721 by a young shepherd. The shrine consists of a tower crowned with the statue of the Virgin and Child, a cathedral, a cemetery and a sacred cave believed to be the one where the Virgin Mary rested while she waited for Jesus.
Tyre is an ancient Phoenician port city and It is the home of Elissar, the Phoenician princess who founded Carthage. It was once famous across the world for its purple dye made from murex sea snails. Two main archaeological sites – “Al-Bass” and “Al-Mina” – are testimony to its historical significance. It has a wonderful seaside location and It's a popular holiday destination with excellent and cleanest beaches
The town's foundations date back to approximately 2750 BC, after which it was ruled by the Egyptians and then the famous King Hiram, under whom it prospered. Later colonized variously by the Assyrians, Neo-Babylonians, Greeks, Seleucids, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Mamluks and Ottomans.
Al Bass Archaeological Site is the largest and the best-preserved example of a Roman Hippodrome. The sector of Tyre El Bass, constituting the principal entrance of the town in antique times, comprises the remains of the necropolis, on either side of a wide monumental causeway dominated by a Roman triumphal arch dating from the 2nd century AD. Among the other vestiges are an aqueduct and the hippodrome of the 2nd century, one of the largest of the Roman world. site contain a Necropolis with several hundred well-preserved sarcophagi, an intact Roman road, an aqueduct and a monumental arch.
The Tyre Hippodrome is a UNESCO World Heritage site of the city of Tyre in south Lebanon dating back to the Second century A.D
The place is considered to be one of the largest and best preserved Roman hippodromes of its type in the Roman world.
Discovered in 1962, the necropolis consists of hundreds of stone and marble sarcophagi from the Roman and Byzantine eras.
Several of them have Greek inscriptions or the names of those buried there, or their trade such as “wealthy purple dye manufacturer. Others whose sides and covers are decorated with frescoes and bas-reliefs of works from Homer and others.
Tyre used to have two harbors: the Sidonian in the north and the Egyptian harbor in the south. Today, the port of Tyre is a busy fisherman's port and the remains of a 750 meter long mole can still be seen, and it is easy to recognize the remains of some ancient buildings in the water.
The Old Souk of Tyre has plenty of little shops selling gold, copper, vegetables, fish, meat, clothing and antiques. Delicious sandwiches, foul and hummus are the most popular stops in The Old Souk.