Reminiscence of a journey to the Land of Cedars – Lebanon (Part 5 of 7)

Byblos, earlier known as Gebal, is believed to be the oldest of all Phoenician cities. It served as the major port for the export of cedar wood, papyrus and other goods to Egypt. The ruins of the city of Byblos has always interested archaeologists because of the successive layers of debris from the centuries of human habitation. The remains of the Great Temple, Temple of Baalat Gebal and others scattered across the archaeological site of Byblos are from the Phoenician period and are as old as 2700 BC. The Byblos castle, made of limestone, was built on the remains of Roman structures by the Crusaders in the 12th century.
Today, Byblos or Jbeil is a very modern city and a popular tourist attraction in the Mediterranean.

Ruins
Byblos city
Ruins
Ruins
Archaelogical museum next to the excavation site
Byblos City
Ruins
Byblos City
Excavation site at Byblos
Excavation site at Byblos
Byblos harbour
Ruins
Byblos beach
Ruins

Reminiscence of a journey to the Land of Cedars – Lebanon (Part 4 of 7)

Sidon is another ancient Phoenician city which was founded in the 3rd millennium BC and it is the third largest city of Lebanon. Like other Phoenician city-states, Sidon also saw a succession of rulers like Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Ottoman Turks. Accordingly, the monuments and architecture of Sidon is as varied and rich as its history.

Khan El Franj is a massive monument built by Emir Fakher El Din II in 1610. It was built with the view to accommodate French merchants and goods in order to develop trade relations with Europe. Another main attraction of Sidon is the sea fortress built on a rocky island close to the coast. The fortress was constructed by the Crusaders in 1228 on the remains of a Phoenician shrine dedicated to God Melkart. Additionally, it contains a mosque built by Ashraf Khalil Bin Kalawoun and later renovated by Fakher El Din.

Khan El Franj
Khan El Franj
Khan El Franj
Khan El Franj
Khan El Franj
Khan El Franj
Crusader’s Fortress
The lone fisherman
Crusader’s Fortress
Crusader’s Fortress
Crusader’s Fortress
Crusader’s Fortress

Reminiscence of a journey to the Land of Cedars – Lebanon (Part 3 of 7)

Tyre is a city on the Mediterranean Coast, about 80 km to the south of Beirut. Like Baalbek, it is an ancient Phoenician City. It is believed to be the birthplace of Europa and Dido. In the 6th century BCE, King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, drawn by the affluence of the city, laid siege to Tyre for thirteen years. In 332 BCE, a wrathful Alexander the Great laid siege to Tyre for seven months; after which the walls were torn down, the people massacred and the city destroyed. Some of the ruins of the ancient glory of Tyre can be seen in the Triumphal Arch, which is the most preserved of the ruins and the Great Hippodrome, built for chariot racing. Legend says that the purple dye was first produced here.

Great Hippodrome
Great Hippodrome
Obelisk at the centre of the Great Hippodrome
Great Hippodrome
Great Hippodrome
Great Hippodrome
Great Hippodrome
The Triumphal Arch
Sarcophagus of Al-Bass cemetery
Sarcophagus of Al-Bass cemetery
Inscription on sarcophagus
Inscription on sarcophagus
More ruins from Tyre
The Triumphal Arch
Sarcophagus of Al-Bass cemetery
Sarcophagi of Al-Bass cemetery
Sarcophagi of Al-Bass cemetery
Sarcophagus of Al-Bass cemetery

Below is the tomb believed to be of King Hiram of Tyre, which is a few kilometers away from the ruins and very close to the Israeli border.

King Hiram’s tomb