Lebelik takes us to Saida

Lebanon through our lenses

The Lebanese Lebelik guide

 

 

يا ست الدنيا يا بيروت

 

“When I arrived, I was surprised to see how wonderful it felt. The moment I got out of the plane, I felt the city’s energy and beauty, and that Beirut is the center of the world and the jewel of the Arab world and the Middle East,” Mohammad Hadid, An-Nahar, Jan 2018.

 

Where to?

??

SAIDA

The Fishing Town

صيدا‎

♡ Overview & Fast facts

Saida translated as ‘fishery’ or ‘fishing-town’ is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Tyre and 40 km south of the capital, Beirut.

 

♡ Jewels of Saida

Saida’s old souk

The soap museum

Sea castle

 

 ♡ Our journey

Sarafand

Sarafand is a blown glass factory located in Saida which have up kept the glassblowing technique that was set up by the Phoenicians. Indeed, Phoenicians worked the glass paste and succeeded in transforming the traditional opaque material into a transparent glass. This revolutionary technique confirmed the Phoenician glass craft in its nobility and its trade flourished as appreciation for the transparent glass works became widespread in the world as it was known then. Blown glass workshops appeared in all Phoenician cities, and more particularly in Tyre, Saida and Tripoli.

Debbane Palace

To preserve the family home, the descendants of Raphaël Youssef Debbané, withdrew their rights on the property and instituted as a Foundation in 1999.

The palace aims to restore the historical and artistic value of the property, classified as a historical monument in 1968 and to constitute it as a museum.

Soap Museum

Before entering the museum, we stopped at the museum’s shop for some souvenirs. The shop naturally smelled majestic and most of the things sold were soaps of different shapes, colors and smell. You could even smell the building’s old age! There were two floors to explore in order to grasp the process of soap making. In order to be able to do that, a tour guide shows visitors around and explains the main aspects of each process, which honestly surprised us all. The saponification requires different types of naturel fuel to feed the furnace, such as olive tree wood, olive pits, a mixture of residue of olive pulp and dried olive pits and coal produced from olive pits. At the end of the tour we were blessed to watch a documentary explaining the history and process behind this family business.

“When I smell soap, I want it to get to my heart” – Documentary

Sidon Sea Castle

 Built during the 13th century by the Crusaders, Sidon’s sea castle was used as a fortress located in the small island that was previously Melqart, the Phoenician god’s temple site. Two guards stand before the castle on the mainland. An eighty meters long narrow road connects them to the castle. Once we walked halfway, we found ourselves over the clear blue sea and finally, once in the castle, the air was surprisingly fresh. At last!

Having bared several wars, the castle still displayed a luxurious and potent architecture. In fact, the alluring castle has been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times. It

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