Description - وصف
Sidon's Wild Castle or Saint Louis Castle, also known as Al-Muizz Castle, is located in the heart of Sidon, near the old souks. This castle was built on the ruins of Phoenician buildings, on a hill that formerly formed the Acropolis of the ancient city. Even today some remains of this Acropolis still exist. In relation to the rulers who controlled it, the castle was given different names. The castle was built on the ruins of a fortress dating back to the Fatimid era, which was known locally as Al-Muizz Castle, in reference to the Fatimid Caliph Al-Muizz Li-Din Allah, who built and fortified it to protect the city from invaders. During the Crusader invasions in 1254, Louis IX, King of the Franks, during his stay between Sidon and Acre, restored and fortified the castle, and added to it a huge and large tower, and named it the Castle of Saint Louis. The castle was subjected to several invasions, most notably the invasions of the Mongols. In the year 1291, the Mamluks inflicted a great destruction on the castle, affecting the greater part of it, and only the tower of St. Louis remained of its sections dating back to the Crusader times. Later, due to the importance of this castle, Prince Fakhr al-Din II restored it and built large parts of it. At the end of the Ottoman era, the castle was subjected to looting and vandalism until large parts of it collapsed. After the displacement of the Palestinian refugees in 1948, the castle was their shelter. The castle was distinguished by its semi-circular design, surrounded by two majestic towers. You enter it through one gate, which forms part of its northeastern tower. An inscription symbolizing a cross was found in the wall connected to the gate of the tower. Roman columns were placed in the outer walls of the castle, which were incorporated horizontally in order to fortify and strengthen the walls. The main tower in the middle of the castle was designed in the form of a horseshoe, and usually includes the main rooms and offices. This castle remained closed until it was restored, and its doors were opened to visitors and tourists, and turned into a prominent tourist attraction along with the main landmarks in the city of Sidon.