Description - وصف
Khan al-Afrang in Sidon is one of the most prominent monuments in Lebanon. Khan Al-Afrang is distinguished by its huge archaeological structure. This building indicates the ancient history open to the sea and the endless daily tales of travelers. Its geographical location is opposite the port of the city of Sidon and at the borders of the old neighborhoods, to gather the good people of old Sidon and its popular markets. Khan Al-Franj, meaning the hotel of the French, was called by this name because it used to receive merchants, envoys and diplomats from Europe. It was used as a residence for the French consul and the Franciscan friars. It is one of the six khans designated for the descent of merchants and travelers, including Khan al-Riz, the old Qishla, Khan the Archdiocese, Khan al-Shakria, and Khan al-Fransawi, but only two khans remain, namely the Franks and the Rice. It is a huge square-shaped building that is entered through a huge door on the side of the port of Sidon, and its architecture is artistic par excellence, in the middle of it there is a water pool and a fountain, and it is one of the most important and most beautiful inns in the whole East. It was built on two floors in the Islamic style, where the first floor was for trade, while the second floor was for guests, and it was an important commercial center.
This khan indicates the urban renaissance that Sidon experienced during the rule of the Ma’inin, during the reign of Prince Fakhr al-Din al-Ma’ani. It was built in the eastern Tuscan style. Khan al-Afrang consists of three sections. The first section is the Great Khan, where merchants’ exhibitions, stables and bathrooms are located, and on the upper floor are the bedrooms of merchants and navigators. The consular house consists of various rooms, and it was dedicated to the representative of the French king. In addition to the consular house, a church was built known as Trasanta, meaning the Holy Land. The third section is the Little Khan, located to the southwest of the Great Khan, and directly connected to the Consular House.