Sidon Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by Tijavi
  • Khan el Franj
    Khan el Franj
    by Delia_Madalina
  • Soap Museum, entrance
    Soap Museum, entrance
    by Delia_Madalina

Best Rated Things to Do in Sidon

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    THE SOUK (MARKET)

    by sarrahh Written May 17, 2005

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    THE SOUK

    The Souks
    Between the Sea Castle and the Castle of
    St. Louis stretches the old town. Not far from the Sea Castle is the picturesque vaulted souk of Sidon, where workmen still ply their trades.
    On the edge of the souk is a traditional coffee house where male clientele meet to smoke the narguileh (water pipe) and drink Turkish coffee. Fishermen sell their latest catch at the market near the port not far from the souk's entrance.

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    The Sea Castle

    by sarrahh Written May 17, 2005

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    sea castle

    The Sea Castle is a fortress built by the Crusaders in the early 13th Century on a small island connected with the mainland by a fortified bridge. The present bridge is of later date. It was one of many castles along the coast which the Crusaders built to protect the harbors and to ensure the safe landing of men and supplies from Europe.

    The fortress now consists primarily of two towers connected by a wall . In the outer walls, Roman shaft columns were used as transverse trusses, a feature common to many fortifications built on former Roman sites. The west tower is the preserved of the two; the east tower has lost its upper floor. A further part of the castle was added during the celebrated visit of King St. Louis to Sidon. In the basement there are two cisterns.

    Old prints of the fortress show it to be one of great beauty, but little remains of the architectural embellishments and sculptures that once graced its ramparts. The destruction of all the sea castles was ordered after the fall of Acre to the Mameluks to prevent the Crusaders from again establishing footholds on the coast.

    A rest house and restaurant on the water-front offers good food and refreshment at reasonable prices.

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    the great mosque

    by call_me_rhia Written Jan 5, 2004

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    the mynareth of the great mosque

    When going from the sea castle towards the Castle of St. Louis, you'll go through Sidon's souk. South of it you'll find the great Mosque. It's an ancient building which in the 13th century had previously been a church: the Church of St. John of the Hospitalers. This church was built by the Crusaders in the hsape of a fortress. The building is truly imposing and well worth a visit.

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    Soap Museum

    by sarrahh Written May 22, 2006

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    This theme museum proposes to bring to our notice the soap history in the region that stretches out from Alepo to Nablus and to acquaint us with its different manufacture steps as well as to unfold the diversity of its forms and proprieties.

    Situated on the ground floor of the Audi district, the access to the soap factory is possible through two accesses of different natures:

    A street of the souk (market) to the east, El Chakrieh street, which is a pedestrian passageway that directly leads to the basins.
    El Moutrane street, to the west, an axe that gives way to the soap factory through the terrace.
    The museum path was established in a way to safeguard these two accesses and to join them: taking into account the height difference created during the elimination of the stone arcades, a passage conjoins these two “entrances” and lets all the visitors follow the same museum track.

    The saponification basins inaugurate this path, which will unearth for the benefit of the visitors the techniques of cutting the soaps into bars, drying, the Turkish bath lavishness and the history and evolution of these premises throughout the ages.

    The scenic challenge relies on valuating this stone-arcade architecture that singles out the city of Saida and on adopting the contemporary vocabulary and materials for every use.

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    Sidon, Sea Castle or Qasr al-Bahr

    by sachara Updated Oct 11, 2003

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    Sidon, Sea Castle

    The site of the Sea Castle was originally the place of a Phoenician temple dedicated to Melkart.
    The Sea Castle is a fortress built by the Crusaders in the 13 the century. The Sea Castle lies on a small island connected with the main land by a bridge. The former bridge was fortified.
    The Sea Castle overlooks the north channel harbour, mainly used for fishing boats.

    The castle is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm and the entrance is 2.000 LL

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    Sea Castle

    by sachara Updated Oct 11, 2003

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    Sea Castle

    The fortress consist primarly of two towers connected by a wall. The west tower is the better preserved of the tow. The east tower has lost its upper roof.
    The rooms are vast and scattered with carved capitals and cannonballs.
    In the basement are two cisterns.
    It was nice to sit on roof of the tower with a good view across the fishing harbour and the old city. The sea water was so clear, that we could see some broken columns at the seafloor.

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    the lighthouse

    by call_me_rhia Written Jan 5, 2004

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    the lighthouse

    The lighthouse of Sidon is scenically set on a little island in the middle of the bay. There are several tiny other islands nearby, which serve as a natural barrier - protecting the harbour from storms. This lighthouse also helped in seltering fleets during military incursions from the interior. It obviously cannot be visited, but it's a charming and reassuring presence out in the sea

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    the small mosque

    by call_me_rhia Written Jan 5, 2004

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    the small mosque

    The small Mosque is a tiny square charming building measuring in lenght and 3 in width. It's a simple building of great architecture, but unfortunately it's at the moment an empty shell. In December 2003 it was being renovated, so hopefully future visitors might be able to see a bit more of it. The small Mosque is located on top of the East tower of the Crusader's castle.

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    Debbane Palace

    by oana16 Updated Oct 20, 2004

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    The residence was built at the beginning of the 18th century.
    The palace was initially the home of Ali Hammoud and until the end of the 18th century was occupied by the Hammouds, a family of Ottoman aghas of Maghreb origin. Today their descendants remain prominent figures in the town.
    The palace consisted of the ground floor accommodating some small shops, stables and a garden and a further storey with diwans, a liwan, some other rooms and an internal courtyard open to the sky.

    - The palace is open between 9.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.

    - The palace is closed on Fridays.

    - Free entrance

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    the egyptian harbour

    by call_me_rhia Written Jan 5, 2004

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    the egyptian harbour

    The Egyptian port of Sidon, despite its name, has nothing to do with Egypt: it's called like this because it's facing south towards Egypt. During Phoenician times it was a very active harbour, and yet of those times nothing remains. The present site (orwhat's left of it) dates back to the Roman times. Parts of it have been filled it in during the 17th century to deny entry to the Turkish fleet, so today only small local fishing boats can use it. Today, like in the past, it's still buzzing and lively - and worth a look

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    Khan el Franj

    by sachara Updated Oct 11, 2003

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    Khan el Franj

    The Khan el Franj (inn of the foreigners) is one of the khans built by Fakhr ad-Din in the 17th century. In the past the khan was the center of economical activities for the city, like storing goods and housing traveling merchants. Here as elsewhere the khan has a large rectangular courtyard with a central fountain, surrounded by covered arcades.
    From the 19th century this khan housed the french consulate, a school, a convent, an inn and a small museum displaying local crafts.
    An enthusiastic archaeologist showed us the building and told they will finish the restoration of the Khan el Franj in 1997. Then this khan will be the cultural centre of Sidon with a museum, exhibition halls, an artisanat, a stage and more.

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    the sea castle

    by call_me_rhia Written Jan 5, 2004

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    the sea castle

    The sea castle is the main and most spectacular attraction of Sidon. It's a Crusader's castle built in the 13th century on a little island about 80 metres from the shore, and connected to it by a causeway. What's left of the castle today is an elongated wall- structure with two towers at its edges. The west tower is the best preserved of the two, and from its rooftop there are great views over both the old and new city of Sidon.
    Another interesting aspect of the structure are the walls: they were reinforced using Roman columns laid out horizontally, which shows that the castle had been built over a Roman temple.

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    Hammam El-Sheikh

    by Tijavi Updated Jul 23, 2011

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    The other hamam that I saw was the Hamam El-Sheikh, still functional and also lovingly restored. I got a chance to see the interiors - at least the lounge area - and I was impressed by the 3-storey high dome ceiling. From the outside, the building looks like any other building (boringly brown, I must say) but getting in and seeing for yourself just a fabulous architecture is so inspiring - and this is for a bathhouse.

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    Hammam El-Ward

    by Tijavi Updated Jul 23, 2011

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    Hamams or Turkish bathhouses are a common feature in Middle Eastern cities, many dating back to the Mamluk era. Sidon is no exception. While exploring the old city, I chanced upon two bathhouses, both lovingly restored.

    This is Hamam El-Ward, an 18th century hamam that still functions today, just like it had been in the olden days. Restored in 1993 by the Hariri Foundation, the hamam is built in the Maan style, which is combination of Turkish and Italian styles of the time.

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    Latin Church

    by Tijavi Updated Jul 1, 2011

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    The Latin Church - Roman Catholic Church to you and me - is located inside the old city, just across the Khan Al-Franj. It was built in the mid-19th century, fairly recent by Sidon standards, by the Franciscan friars when they were housed at the Khan Al-Franj. It remains a fully functional church, named after the Lady of Annunciation, and has an adjunct school. The school year was in full swing at the time of my visit, and it was interesting to see a different side of the Middle East - a functioning Roman Catholic school - just another reminder of the diversity of Lebanon's population.

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