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Architecture: Middle Eastern
Sidon is an ancient city located on the coast of Lebanon. Originally a fishing and trade center, in modern times Sidon serves as the Mediterranean terminus for the Trans-Arabian Pipeline from Saudi Arabia.
Sidon was founded by Phoenicia in the 3rd millennium BC. Sidon became wealthy and prosperous in the 2nd millennium BC, famous for the quality of its glass and its purple dyes. In approximately 2700 BC, Sidon colonists founded the city of Tyre some 25 miles down the coast, and for many years the two cities competed for the seat of Phoenician wealth and power.
As Phoenicia's power waned, Sidon's wealth and strategic location made it a tempting target for conquest. During its history Sidon has been ruled by Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Alexander of Macedonia, the Seleucids, the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt, the Romans, the Ottomans, the French, and finally, Lebanon. During the Crusades the city changed hands several times, getting destroyed and rebuilt in the process. The area is littered with the remains of fortifications from throughout history. Today, Sidon is home to Sunni and Shiite Muslims as well as Christian Greek Catholics and Maronites.
The city is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. Perhaps its most famous citizen is the wicked Queen Jezebel, wife of King Ahab of Northern Israel and great aunt of Queen Dido of Carthage. According to the Bible, Jezebel was an evil and corrupt ruler, and she encouraged the worship of foreign Phoenician gods in Israel. For these crimes she was killed by her own eunuchs and thrown into the street to be eaten by dogs. There are two great lessons from this story for all rulers: first, don't mess with the people's religion, and second, never trust the royal eunuchs.