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Sidon or Saida, صيدا is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is on the Mediterranean coast, about 25 miles north of Tyre and 30 miles south of the capital Beirut. Its name means a fishery.
It was one of the most important Phoenician cities, and may have been the oldest. From here, and other ports, a great Mediterranean commercial empire was founded. Homer praised the skill of its craftsmen in producing glass and purple dyes. It was also from here that a colonising party went to found the city of Tyre.

In 1855, the sarcophagus of King Eshmun’azar II was discovered. From a Phoenician inscription on its lid, it appears that he was a "king of the Sidonians," probably in the 5th century BCE, and that his mother was a priestess of ‘Ashtart, "the goddess of the Sidonians." In this inscription the gods Eshmun and Ba‘al Sidon 'Lord of Sidon' (who may or may not be the same) are mentioned as chief gods of the Sidonians. ‘Ashtart is entitled ‘Ashtart-Shem-Ba‘al '‘Ashtart the name of the Lord', a title also found in an Ugaritic text.

Sidon has had many conquerors: Philistines; Assyrians; Babylonians; Egyptians; Greeks and finally Romans in the years before Jesus. Herod the Great visited Sidon; both Jesus and Saint Paul are said to have visited it.

On December 4, 1110 Sidon was sacked in the First Crusade. During the Crusades it was sacked several times: it was finally destroyed by the Saracens in 1249. It became the centre of the Lordship of Sidon, an important seigneury in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1260 it was again destroyed by the Mongols. The remains of the original walls are still visible.

After Sidon came under Ottoman Turkish rule in the seventeenth century, it regained a great deal of its earlier commercial importance. After WWI it became part of the French Mandate of Lebanon.

The Sea castle



Saida stadium

Saida, new buildings

Sahet Ash Shuhada - Martyr's square in Saida
 

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Once I went to al-Baba. It was amazing place. The whole buidling belonged to this company. Really a big place.
 

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It is mentioned in the ethnological table of Genesis (x, 19);
the territory of the tribe of Zabulon reached even to the gates of this city (Genesis 49:13), but the Hebrews never were its masters (Joshua 11:8; 13:3, 6; 19:28; Judges 1:31; 3:3; 10:12; 18:7). The supremacy of the Sidonians continued until about 1252 B.C., when the Philistines, partly destroyed it and Sidonians fled to Tyre, one of their colonies, which then became the leading city. Sidon, called the mother of the Phoenician cities, for Tyre, Carthage, Hippo were settled by emigrants from there, was noted for its bronze, its commerce, navigation, knowledge of mathematics and astronomy; it is mentioned with great praise by Homer (Iliad, XXIII, 743; Odyssey, XV, 425; XIII, 285). After its downfall it is often mentioned in the Bible, but nearly always in terms of censure and as a subject of reproach (Joel 3:4, 5; Jeremiah 25:22; Ezekiel 32:30).

Queen Jezabel (Izevel), who married the hebrew king Achab, was daughter of Sidonian King Etba'al and we know they had many pagan gods she tried to import (1 Kings 16:31), - so from this we know the city had its own rulers,

King Solomon and David for building of the temple in Jerusalem used Lebanese cedars (hebrew - Erez tree, ceders of lebanon - Arzei HaLevanon) shipped from Sidon (1 Chronicles 22:4).

Sidon was taken several times by the Assyrian kings, to whom its rulers paid tribute; finally in 676, when its name was changed to Ir-Asaraddon, and its inhabitants were killed, or carried captive into Assyria. When Babylon succeeded Nineveh in the sovereignty of Asia (606 B.C.), Sidon allied itself with Tyre to throw off this yoke and that of Egypt (Ezekiel 27:8); the conqueror, Nabuchodonosor, turned his wrath on Tyre, and Sidon took advantage of this to recover some of its former glory. It was a willing subject of the Medes and Persians from 538 to 351 B.C., but, having revolted in the latter year against Artaxerxes Ochus, it was burned by its inhabitants, 40,000 of whom perished in the flames (Diod. Sic., XVI, xli-xlvi). Finally it passed under the rule of the Greeks, sometimes of the Seleucides, sometimes of the Lagides, thus becoming gradually hellenized; at this time it had a school of philosophy. Under the Romans Sidon assumed the name of Nauarchis, later that of Colonia Augusta, or Metropolis, and had its own coinage. This period begins about 110 B.C.


During the second temple onwards there was a wise jewish scolar community in the city, mentioned in the talmud as "the wise and elders in sidon" and sidon or sidoni is still a hebrew surname. The tomb of Zevulun ben Yaakov is in the city and supposedly now is in a building with a dome (?) and used to attract jewish visitors that came to pray there.

Sanharib mentions two sidons, small sidon - the harbour quarter, and large sidon - around it, also mentioned as Zidon rabati צידון רבתי (large sidon) in the bible book of judges

Not many people know but there were two sidons, another much more inland, north-east of the Jordan river. They were written in hebrew the same apart for one letter - zidn צידן, but pronounced the same.
 

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The new part of sidon looks great! This city could look really great if they fix it up like this.They cab have a nice coast if it wasnt coverd in rubbish.
 

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Source26,Sidon surname is not hebrew,it's kanaanate"phoenician".
 

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I didnt say it wasnt phoenician - canaanite.
just we have surnames for every place that had jewish families - like berliner (berlin), krakower (krakow) tsanani (sanaa), yerushalmi (jerusalem) bagdadi (baghdad) toledo (toledo) damari (damar) etc.. and also sidon or sidoni (for sidon), I think its the only place in lebanon that had it.
 

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Jayme001 said:
wow the new part of sidon looks great !!!!!!! this city cood look really great if they fix it up like this !!!! and they have a nice coast if it wasnt coverd in rubbish
the city is going forward and i hope it gets much better

When I was there last summer they were fixing up the roads and sidewalks really nicely (especially the corniche) so things are looking good especially because of Bahia Hariri's determination to improve the city.
 

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wow thats a nice street life there in sidon
thats a nice hotel there i wounder how many stars
 
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