Tyre (Sour)
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      Tyre was in its heyday a leading Phoenician city under King Hiram who reigned for 34 years and during whose time Tyre colonized Sicily and North Africa while remaining the trade capital of its time.

       Tyre   is  associated  principally with  the Tyrean purple, the  dye from  the  murex  sea-mussel  which was  so  expensive   and  rare  that it  was worn as  a mark of imperial or royal rank.  It was also famed for its fine Phoenician glass industry, and the introduction of the alphabet into Greece was attributed to Cadmus of Tyre.

        Tyre knew a succession of invasions all of which left their mark on the city. It suffered two long sieges, the first for thirteen years in the sixth century B.C. by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, the other a seven-month siege by Alexander the Great.  Alexander was able to take the city finally only by joining the island city with the mainland by a causeway which enabled his armies to scale Tyre's   formidable walls.

        Besides the ruins of the city itself, the tourist to Tyre should visit the Necropolis and the Hippodrome which cove extensive areas on the other side of the modern town. The Hippodrome, built in the second century A.D. and designed for chariot racing, was one of the largest of the Roman period and is unique in that it was shaped in the form of a U and could seat more than twenty thousand spectators.

        The visitor to Tyre should plan on a full day to cover the historic sites of the city.  Those who have more time should take advantage of the modern resthouse-motel situated on a expanse of sandy beach, and of the good swimming in that stretch of the Mediterranean.