The city of Sidon is located on the Mediterenean coast of Lebanon. This ancient Phoenicians city has been of great religious, political and commercial value; it is said to be inhabited since 4000 B.C. During the 13th century, the Crusaders built Sidon’s Sea Castle as a fortress on a small island connected to the mainland by a narrow 80m long roadway. The island was formerly the site of a temple to Melqart, the Phoenician version of .
The beauty of the Castle can be seen in old illustrations of it; however, after bearing several wars, it has been damaged and renovated several times. It was partially destroyed by the Mamluks when they took over the city from the Crusaders, but they subsequently rebuilt it and added the long causeway. The castle later fell into disuse, but was again restored in the 17th century by Emir Fakhredine II, only to suffer great damage.
There is a possibility that the island on which the castle is built was, in fact, the location of the Phoenician King’s palace and several other Phoenician monuments which were destroyed by Esarhaddon and then by natural earthquakes.
This island has also served as a shelter from inside attacks on the city. Great Sidon, Little Sidon, powerful fortresses, pastures, cisterns and fortifications are all mentioned in the Assyian king Sennacherib’s recordings of his attacks on Sidon and nearby cities.