Sidon (Saida)

Sidon, on the coast 48 km south of Beirut, is one of the famous names in ancient history. But out of all of Lebanon’s cities, this is the most mysterious, for its past has been tragically scattered and plundered.

In the 19th Century, treasure hunters and amateur archaeologists made off with many of its most beautiful and important objects, some of which can now be seen in foreign Museums.

In this Century too, ancient objects from Sidon (Saidoon is the Phoenician name, Saida in Arabic), have turned up on the worlds antiquities markets. Other traces of history lie beneath the concrete of modern construction, perhaps buried forever.

The challenge for today’s visitor to Sidon then, is to recapture a sense of the city’s ancient glory from the intriguing elements that still survive.