The third great Phoenician
city-state, Sidon's origins are lost from memory.
The name was mentioned in the texts for the first
time in the 14th century B.C. in the 'Tell El Amara
Letters'. But it was during the Persian era, between
the end of the 6th century B.C. and the mid-4th
century B.C. that the city experienced its golden
age.Sidon was an open city with many cultural
influences, including the Egyptian and the Greek.
During the Persian period, Aegean sculptors
contributed to the nearby temple of Eshmoun, the
city's god. He was associated with the Aesculapius,
the Greek god of healing.
After its revolt against the Persians and
destructions in 351 B.C., Sidon never regained its
former glory. But the city's position had improved
by 551 A.D., when after the disastrous earthquake of
that year it was chosen as the site of Beirut law
school. The crusader period, between 1110 and 1291,
brought Sidon new prestige as the second of the four
baronies of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Today the
ruins of the Crusader sea Castle and the Castle of
Saint-Louis, Known as the land castle, can still be
seen in Sidon.
From the Mamluke and Ottoman periods we have the
Great Mosque, built on the foundations of a Crusader
building and the Khan 'el –