We had our first glimpse of Sidon from the olive and mulberry grove of a small farm. It is one of the most beautiful towns I have seen in this country. This noble city rising from its promontory above the clear, blue sea is linked to its ancient castle by a bridge and a causeway; in the distance the snow cover of the Lebanese mountain crests reflected in the Mediterranean and in the hues of a sunset, offers a magnificent spectacle.
The people of Sidon were the worldĺs first navigators. They built rafts, then rowboats and the pines and cedars of Lebanon glided away on the sea to distant parts. A people whose trade embraced half the world needed a means of communication to convey messages from place to place. Phoenicia invented the alphabet; the first Greeks acquired writing from the Phoenicians as did all parts of the western world.
T.R. Dumas, 1880
Apart from the invention of navigation and the written alphabet, Sidon is credited with the discovery of glass, joinery, stone dressing and wood carving.
R.P. de Damas, 1866