Day 23~ February 23rd~ Lebanon

The ancient remains of the Roman columns in Sur (Tyre)~ Lebanon

According to Herodotus the city of Tyre was founded around 2750BC, the ancient Phoenician city and birthplace of Elissa and Europa (the Phoenician lady in Greek mythology from which the continent of Europe’s name was derived). Soaked with history, mentioned in the old testament as the city where pride lived and caused God to drive Nebuchadnezzar to attack the city that gloated over the fall of Jerusalem. The bible mentions Tyre as a place that Jesus visited the shores of to perform healing on a Gentile. The people of this city were the first to venture and sail the waters of the mediterranean forming colonies in Greece, North Africa (Carthage), Spain (Tartessus and Cadiz), Sicily, Corsica and the island of the Aegean Sea. As with other Lebanese ancient cities Tyre had to suffer the attacks of Alexander the Great, the advance of the Crusades and the rule of the Roman Empire among others.

Today despite the UNESCO declaring the site a ‘world heritage site’, the remains are facing deterioration and erosion from rainwater and the natural elements due to lack of proper maintenance.

Standing there felt like being transported into a different time, a different place and you can almost hear the echos of the ancient voices that still vibrate in its old walls.

wall detail ~ Sur

23 thoughts on “Day 23~ February 23rd~ Lebanon

  1. I know what you mean about hearing the echoes of the voices. I spent a couple of months working on an excavation in remote Syria. Many of these great sites are like this, especially when there is so little tourist infrastructure to interfere with the experience. It feels as if the ancients have simply left. Have you been to Apamea or Krak des Chevalier? Such amazing places.

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    1. I have never visited the ancient sites of neighboring Syria as much I would have loved to. I hope to do so in the next few years. You are lucky to have been at such intimate proximity with them.

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      1. yes, it sure is. I have been there a few times, once even running away from war in Lebanon in 2006 and I found the people to be extremely hospitable and friendly during our passage on the way to Turkey. War is ugly in every form.

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  2. I get the feeling you mention here whenever standing on an ancient site. Especially as an American, whose history is comparatively much shorter … thus no longer archaeological expeditions are driven by the patient and those appreciating ancient history and culture. Therefore, deterioration is sad.

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  3. I love the pics. You’re doing an amazing job with this blog. The photography is awesome and there is always an interesting story of your own or of history and your readers learn something new every time. Thanks for your continued efforts here!

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  4. Lebanon Oh Lebanon.
    The words always linger on my mind. I read about the beautiful Lebanon long time ago. But then, lately the story come up in the news paper always about war in the region, I always wondering what it was like Lebanon now, is there something worth seeing now?
    Thank you for sharing the picture and the story with us. May some day I can see Lebanon.
    Until then, see you in Lebanon

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    1. You know despite all the problems I describe Lebanon remains a heaven on earth for tourists and Lebanese people returning home for the holidays. So it is difficult to believe but there is so so much to see and to enjoy! Yes, see you in Lebanon!

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  5. Hello again,
    What a trip into the past…as a child I scampered all over these ruins. I remember the stone basins where there were remains of the purple dye made from a particular kind of crushed shell. It was a long time ago and so much has happened there since. Maybe I will return to Lebanon one day… Your photos are soothing !
    Nathalie

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