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the Castle of the Sea

the Castle of the Sea


Of all the Phoenician ports, Sidon has the least to show for its past. Much was lost in natural disasters and much was unearthed and looted in the 19th century. The city was built on a promontory overlooking an island which provided an excellent harbor for ships. It grew under the Phoenicians, trading on the murex shell’s purple dye (like Tyre) and glass manufacture. It fell to the Crusaders under Baldwin in 1111, surrendered to Saladin in 1187, but was re-occupied by the Crusaders until 1291 when it was taken by Mamluk Sultan Ashraf. The castle was built by the Crusaders during their second occupation. It is linked to the mainland by a causeway.