Description - وصف
Sidon sea castle is one of the most famous castles in Lebanon and the most distinctive, and it is one of the most important monuments in the city of Sidon. This castle was built on a rock in the sea, at a distance of eighty meters from the shore, and it became like a small island floating in the sea. The main objective of its construction was to provide protection for European defenders against naval military operations, and at the same time to be a bridge for communication with the Western world, which was providing them with support. The history of the construction of this castle dates back to 1228, at the hands of the Sixth Crusade that entered Lebanon. When it fell into the hands of the Mamluks, they modified some of its properties using stones and building elements that preceded the Crusader era. Huge carved stones and granite columns were used in the construction of the castle. You enter the Sidon castle, located inside the sea, through a corridor or a huge stone bridge. This bridge ends at the castle and is separated from it by a movable wooden door. The only remains of this bridge are the northern pointed pillar, the other two pointed pillars were reconstructed in the same style in the days of the French mandate of Lebanon, after it collapsed due to a sea storm in 1936.
When you enter from the large gate, you will realize the extent of the walls of this castle and the accuracy of its design until it was able to withstand the invaders. In addition to the decorations and inscriptions at its entrance that reflect its artistic style. The castle consists of two defensive towers, the first tower located to the northeast of the castle and opposite its main entrance. It is rectangular in shape, and its walls were built of huge stones, and the edges of the granite columns are still visible on its external facade until now. A small mosque was built over this tower in the Ottoman era in 1840, after the castle was bombed by the British Navy. This mosque is distinguished by its design, it is rectangular in shape and topped by a dome. The second tower is located on the southwest side, and in its present form it was built in two phases. This is confirmed by the text inscribed on a marble plaque placed above the window of the tower. The lower part of the tower was built in the Crusader era from small stones that were removed from the old buildings that were demolished in the city, while the upper part of it dates back to the Mamluk period. What distinguishes the construction of the tower, is its semi-cylindrical shape, which is punctuated by a number of small windows and arrows that were used for observation and defense. The castle towers are separated by a large hall open to the sea. The remains of the ruined castle stones are still scattered throughout, most notably the remains of its old church, which was located in the northeastern part of it. Today, Sidon Castle is a prominent witness to the historical events that the city of Sidon witnessed during its medieval history, and the devastating wars and conflicts it witnessed. Later, during the period of reconstruction of the city, Prince Fakhruddin restored its castle to appear in its current form. Today, it is one of the southern archaeological sites worth visiting, as it is a historical symbol of the ancient city of Sidon.