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Tyre (Sour)

Tyre (Sour) - An excursion in Beirut, Lebanon
Tyre, Sour in Arabic, has a long and colorful history. It is the fourth largest city in Lebanon with a population around 120,000. Tyre is situated on the Mediterranean coast, about 80 km south of Beirut. The name of the city means "rock" after the rocky formation on which the town was originally built. Tyre is an ancient Phoenician city and has a number of ancient sites, including a Roman Hippodrome on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. Tyre was founded around 2750 BC according to Herodotus, originally as an island just off shore. Alexander the Great connected the island to the mainland coast by constructing a causeway. The city of Tyre was particularly known for the production of a rare and extraordinarily expensive purple dye, produced from the murex shellfish. This color was reserved for the use of royalty or nobility. Tyre was often attacked by Egypt during the 6th century BC. It later fell under the power of the Persians. In 332 BC, the city was conquered by Alexander the Great. It is frequently mentioned in the Old Testament and Jesus is said to have visited Tyre. The town was captured by the Crusaders in 1124. It became one of the most important cities of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1291, it was retaken by the Mameluks, followed by Ottoman rule before the modern state of Lebanon was declared in 1920. Tyre was badly damaged in the late 1970s and early 1980s during the civil war. It again suffered in 2006 during the summer war between Israel and Hezbollah. Currently Tyre is in the midst of another period of reinvention and renewal. Tyre of today is a predominantly Shi'a Muslim city with a small Christian community. You will find the people warm and welcoming. The city definitely deserves a visit for its souqs and wealth of UNESCO World Heritage Roman remains. From Beirut, microbuses are the fastest direct option to Tyre. Depending on traffic, they take between one and two hours. You can also catch a service taxi from Beirut’s Cola transport hub.

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More to do and see in Beirut
» Skiing and winter sports
» Hiking and trekking
» Beaches and Seaside
» Caves
» Zahlé – The Bride of the Bekaa Valley
» Sidon (Saida)
» Jounieh
» Chouf Mountains
» Byblos (Jbail)
» Bekaa Valley
» Baalbek – the ‘Sun City’

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