South of Lebanon
South Lebanon has over 6000 years of history. The two main Phoenician cities Sidon and
Tyre are still in existence today with many monuments, castles and ruins standing as
a reminder of their previous power and glory. The site of Jesus Christ first miracle of
turning water into wine was one of the recent discoveries made in the south of Lebanon,
with engravings of Christ and his disciples leading to a secluded cave where it is
believed they came for peace and quiet.
Citrus fruits and banana are grown throughout the south which is known as Citrus
Sidon inhabited since 4000 BC and believed to be of Phoenician origin. Others
believe it was founded by Canaans
oldest son Sidon. It was destroyed twice by war between the 7th and 4th centuries BC and
once by an earthquake in the 6th century AD. Sidon has many historic places among them
Ashmoun Temple, the only Phoenician temple excavated, where some of the most beautiful
carvings and sculptures were found.
Other interesting places include the 13th century crusaders sea castle,
the Great Mosque formerly the fortress church of St. John, the castle of St. Louis and the
historic Khan al Franj.
Tyre Founded around 3000 BC, was an important trading Phoenician island city,
famous for surviving a 13 year siege by Nebuchadnezzar, and then fell to Alexander the Great who built a causeway connecting Tyre
of the mainland. Tyre made its name by discovering and exporting red dye extracted from
the murex sea mail which still survives at Tyres shores today. Places of interest
include Hay el Ramel, Alexanders causeway, the site of the ancient island city with
mosaic streets, Roman baths and arena, the remains of a crusader church, a Roman-Byzantine
necropolis and the largest Roman hippodrome ever found, built of stone instead of the
usual bricks. Tomb of Hiram, King of Tyre, is only a few kilometers away and dates back to
Qana el Jaleel The site of Christ first miracle and Lebanons newest
archaeological site. Rock carvings of Christ and his disciples have led to the sacred cave
hideout where it is believed that Christ and his followers visited frequently. Near the
sanctuary of Jaleel, a Canaanite prophet, six large stone basins were found. It is
believed that these are the same basins Christ used to turn the water into wine.
Beaufort Castle The largest and most scenic crusade castle found
Hasbaya A large citadel of similar architectural design to Beiteddine, with a ten sided
tower and a large entrance gate decorated with a sculpture of a chained lion.
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