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Tyre: Queen of the sea


Tyre is a city in the South Governorate of Lebanon. Tyre is an ancient Phoenician city and the legendary birthplace of Europa. Today it is the fourth largest city in Lebanon and has one of the nation's major ports. Each year lots of tourists come to see the city that has a number of ancient sites like its Roman Hippodrome.

Early History:

The city of Tyre was known for the production of a rare expensive sort of purple dye, produced from the murex shellfish, known as Tyrian purple. This color was, in many cultures of ancient times, reserved for the use of royalty, or at least nobility. It is stated in the Bible that Jesus visited the region of Tyre and Sidon and healed a Gentile.

Places to visit:

The Triumphal Arch:
It is one of the city's most impressive archaeological relics. The arch stands over a long avenue which has a necropolis on either side and sarcophagi dating as early as the 2nd century BCE. The Triumphal Arch had fallen apart but was reconstructed in modern times and today is fairly close to what it probably looked like for the ancient world.

The hippodrome:
Tyre's hippodrome dates to the second century. It is 90 meters wide, 480 meters long, had a capacity of about 40,000 people, and was built for chariot races.

The Necropolis:
Discovered in 1962, the necropolis consists of hundreds of stone and marble sarcophagi from the Roman and Byzantine eras. Several tombs have Greek inscriptions or the names of those buried there. Others have sculpted reliefs of works from Homer and others.

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