Sour (Tyre) was built in ancient times on a small rocky island near the coast. In the 10th century B.C.
King Hiram of Tyre constructed two ports and a temple on the mainland sector of the city. This was the era
when the famous industries of Phoenician glass and purple dye were developed. Behind the walls of the old
city the Tyrians successfully defied Nebuchadnezzar for 13 years. Alexander the Great also laid siege to it
for 7 months, finally overwhelming the island city by constructing a great causeway from the shore to the island. Over the centuries, however, the causeway was silted up, turning Tyre into an isthmus. In biblical times it was in Qana (Cana) near Tyre that Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast.
In 1980, modern Tyre's impressive Roman and Phoenician remains prompted UNESCO to make the town one
of its world heritage sites. Despite its location in the deep south 79 km from Beirut, where conflict often
occurred during the war, Tyre has become a prosperous town notable for its many high-rise buildings.
At the same time the inner city has retained its industrious maritime character and its old-style houses.
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Last changes: August 4, 1997