The Sea Castle
The Sea Castle is a fortress built by the Crusaders in the early 13th Century on a small island connected with the mainland by a fortified bridge. The present bridge is of a later date. It was one of the many castles along the coast which the Crusaders built to protect the harbors and to ensure the safe landing of men and supplies from Europe.
Aerial view of the Sea Castle
The fortress now consists primarily of two towers connected by a wall. In the outer walls, Roman shaft columns were used as transverse trusses, a feature common to many fortifications built on former Roman sites. The west tower is the better preserved of the two; the east tower has lost its upper floor. A further part of the castle was added during the celebrated visit of King St. Louis to Sidon. In the basement there are two cisterns.
Old prints of the fortress show it to be one of the great beauty, but little remains of the architectural embellishments and sculptures that once graced its ramparts. The destruction of all the sea castles was ordered after the fall of Acre to the Mameluks to prevent the Crusaders from again establishing footholds on the coast.
A resthouse and restaurant on the water-front offers good food and refreshment at reasonable prices.
The Dining Hall in the Government Resthouse