St. Louis Castle

The ruins of this once-impressive castle stand on a mound to the south of Saida. The present structure dates back to the Crusaders, who built on the site of an earlier Fatimid fortress, as reflected in the local name, Qalaat al-Muizz (Fortress of Al-Muizz) after the Fatimid caliph Al-Muizz li-Din Allah, who fortified the site. The English-French name comes from Louis IX, who rebuilt and then occupied the fortress when he retook Sidon from the Ayyubids in 1253.

 

The hill on which the castle is situated is thought to have been the ancient acropolis of Sidon. Archaeologists have uncovered remains of a theatre here, but the site remains largely unexcavated. There is a low wall, with an entrance gate, around the base of the hill. The fortress is now being extensively restored. 

Fortress History Ayyoubid Dynasty Crusader Period Saida (Sidon) Saida (Sidon) District South Lebanon Autumn Spring Summer Winter Historical Tourism Sightseeing