Although the earliest origins of Tyre are unknown, the testimonies
of ancient historians and some archeological evidence suggest that
it goes back to the start of the 3rd millennium B.C. Originally
a mainland settlement with an island city a short distance offshore,
 it came of age in the 10th century B.C. when King Hiram
expanded the mainland and built two ports and a temple to
Melkart, the cityIts flourishing maritime trade,'s
god.Its flourishing maritime trade, Mediterranean colonies
and its purple dye and its purple dyeand glass industries made
Tyre very powerful and wealthy. But the city's wealth
attracted enemies. In the sixth century B.C. the Tyrians
successfully defied Nebuchadnezzar for 13 years. Alexander
 the Great laid siege to it for 7 months, finally overwhelming
the island city by constructing a great causeway from the shore
 to the island. In their day the Romans built a magnificent city at
Tyre. The remains of its Roman streets, arcades and public
buildings, including one of the largest hippodromes of the period,
are Tyre's major attractions today.
Occupied by the Moslem Arabs in 636, then captured in 1124 by
the Crusaders, Tyre was an important fortified town of the Kingdom
of Jerusalem. In 1291 the Mamlukes took the city, then during
the 400-year Ottoman period beginning in 1516, it remained a
quiet fishing town.
In 1984 Tyre's important archeological remains prompted UNESCO
 to make the town a world heritage site. Located 79 km from
Beirut, prosperous Tyre is notable for its many high-rise
buildings. Nevertheless, the inner city has retained its
industrious maritime character and its interesting old-style houses.



     Copyright 2009  Lebanon.com