Biggest Cities In Lebanon

Beirut along the Mediterranean coast is Lebanon's capital, most populous city, and chief port.

The country of Lebanon is located in the Middle Eastern region of West Asia. The country sits along the Mediterranean Sea and is bordered on land by Syria and Israel. Lebanon has been inhabited for millenniums as the city of Byblos is thought to have been first occupied between 8,800 and 7,000 BC and is known to have been continuously inhabited by various civilizations since 5,000 BC. This article will discuss the history and current status of the three biggest cities in the country, taking into account their metro population.

The History Of The Three Biggest Cities In Lebanon

1. Sidon

The city of Sidon is the third biggest city in the country, with a city population of 80,000 people and a metro population of 250,000 people, giving it a total of 330,000 people. Sidon is located in southern Lebanon in the Sidon District of the South Governorate. The city of Sidon was one of the great Phoenician (1500-539 BC) cities and is very old, as it is known that settlers from Sidon founded the nearby city of Tyre in 2750 BC. In 333 BC the city was conquered by Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), having been ruled before that by the Egyptians, Persians. Babylonians and Assyrians. After Alexander's conquest, the city was ruled by the Greeks until the Romans conquered it in 64 BC, with the Romans, and then the Byzantine Empire (330-1453 AD) ruling the city until the Arabs conquered it in 636 AD. In 1110 the city was captured following the First Crusade (1095-1099) and remained in European control as part of the Lordship of Sidon (1110-1268) until the city fell to the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt (1250-1517). In the early 16th century, the city came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923) until after World War I (1914-1918) when it became part of the French Mandate of Lebanon (1923-1946) and then an independent Lebanon.

2. Jounieh

The city of Jounieh is the second biggest city in the country, with a city population of 115,500 people and a metro population of 400,000 people, giving it a total of 515,500 people. Jounieh is located in central Lebanon sitting on the Mediterranean Sea in the Keserwan District of the Mount Lebanon Governorate. Unlike Sidon or Beirut, the history of Jounieh is much more recent, with the city having been founded at some point in the 19th century under the Ottoman Empire as a coastal city which had warehouses and stores for storage and trade. By the end of the 19th century, the city had been connected via road to neighboring areas and even connected to nearby Beirut by railroad. The city truly took off to prosperity to become what it is today during the French Mandate period when the Al-Nabi Younes Port on the Chouf Coast was opened, becoming the official port of the Mount Lebanon Governorate.

1. Beirut

The city of Beirut is the capital and biggest city in the country, with a city population of 361,366 people and a metro population of 2,000,000 people, giving it a total of 2,361,366 people. Beirut is located in central Lebanon sitting on the Mediterranean Sea in the Beirut District of the Beirut Governorate. Beirut is one of the oldest cities on Earth having been first settled over 5,000 years ago, with the first known historical mention of it dating from the 14th century BC from the Tell el Amarna letters found in Egypt from the New Kingdom of Egypt period (c.1550-1077 BC). Beirut has an almost similar history to Sidon being controlled and conquered by the same groups over the same time periods up until the early 19th century. During the Egyptian-Ottoman War (1831-33) the Egyptian Eyalet (1517-1867), an administrative division of the Ottoman Empire, took control of the Eyalet of Sidon (1660-1864) that Beirut was in, as well as other Ottoman controlled regions in the Syrian area under Muhammad Ali of Egypt (1769-1849).

It was during this period under Egyptian rule that Beirut began to develop, despite it and the rest of the Syrian regions coming back under Ottoman control following the Second Egyptian-Ottoman War (1839-41). During the latter portion of the 19th century, the city developed close ties to Europe and became a major commercial center and port city. The city became the capital of Lebanon when it achieved independence in 1943 and had become such an economic and cultural hub that it was known as the “The Paris of the Middle East.” This all ended as the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) devastated the city, causing many citizens to flee, much of the city to be destroyed and the downtown area to become a no man's land. Since the end of the war, the city has been rebuilding, and people have returned, leading the Beirut to regain some of its former status.

Lebanon In The Modern Day

The country of Lebanon today has slowly been recovering from the destruction, suffering, and instability that it suffered during the Lebanese Civil War, as well as from finally ending the Syrian occupation of parts of the country from the 2005 Cedar Revolution. The country today is facing new challenging from its neighbor in Syria having to deal with the fallout from the ongoing Syrian Civil War, as well as the effects of the rise of ISIS in Syria and Ira

Rank Biggest Cities in Lebanon Estimated City Population (Metro Population)
1 Beirut 361,366 (2,000,000)
2 Tripoli227,857
3 Jounieh 115,500 (400,000)
4 Baalbek 82,608 (100,000)
5 Sidon 80,000 (250,000)
6 Tyre 60,000 (170,000)
7 Batroun 45,000
8 Zahlé 40,000 (150,000)
9 Nabatieh 40,000 (80,000)
10 Habbouch28,433

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