Pearl of the Phoenician coast, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea with Mount Lebanon in the background, Tyre lies about 85 kms south of Beirut, with an estimated population of 135.000 inhabitants. With a rich history spreading over 5000 years, prestigious monuments and remarkable traditions, this biblical city acquired an international reputation and is one of the five World Heritage Sites in Lebanon.
Just by naming “Tyre”, a wide range of distinctive terms rushes into one’s mind. Commerce, colonies, resistance, purple dye, glass making, spreading of alphabet, Temple of Salomon, Elissar, Carthage, Europe… “Sour”, as it is called in Arabic, is home for unique archaeological sites and a convivial fishing harbor, streams and beaches, citrus trees and banana plantations, local festivities and traditional handicrafts, progressive buildings and old souks.
After long centuries of Tyrian hegemony over the Mediterranean basin in the ancient times and years of conflicts in the modern days, the mighty Tyre overcame all obstacles and survived. Today, the “Queen of the Seas” is striving to regain its former glory and revive its golden age. And the legacy shall continue…
In 1947, the Directorate General of Antiquities in Lebanon launched the excavations in Tyre, unveiling over the years the two main archaeological sites in the city: Al-Bass Site and City Site.
Al-Bass Site includes a massive necropolis with hundreds of sarcophagi and burial complexes, a three-bay triumphal arch, an aqueduct, in addition to the second largest and most preserved hippodrome of its kind in the world. All these great structures date back to the Roman and Byzantine periods, 2nd through 6th centuries A.D.
Located on what used to be the Phoenician island, the City Site consists of mosaic and marble-paved alleys, colonnades, public baths, a residential quarter, a unique rectangular arena and a palaestra. Even though the main character of these monuments is Romano-byzantine, the city site contains remains dating from the Phoenician era.
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