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Hippodrome
stadium where chariot races or horse races were held (in ancient Greece and Rome); arena in which various events are held

Area One, located on what was the Phoenician island, is a vast district of civic buildings, colonnades, public baths, mosaic streets and a rectangular arena.
Walk to the beach at the far end of the site. The columns belong to a Palaestra, an area where athletes trained. Other excavated remains on this site date to the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods. A short distance from the shore you will see "islands" which are, in fact,
the great stone breakwaters and jetties of the ancient Phoenician port, called the "Egyptian port" because it faced south towards Egypt.

Area Two, is a five minute walk to the west.
Its major point of interest is a Crusader cathedral. Only the lowest foundations and a few re-erected granite columns remain intact but these are nevertheless impressive. The area below has revealed a network of Romano-Byzantine roads and other installations. Visitors are not allowed inside the site, but the ruins can be viewed from the road.

Roman Circuses

Romans liked chariot-racing. Men went to the races and bet on which horses would win.

Men raced chariots all over the Roman Empire on specially built racetracks called circuses. Most good-sized towns had a circus. These were not like our modern circuses, with elephants and clowns. They were more like modern racetracks.

The chariots were driven by professional charioteers (often slaves), who sometimes became very famous, and even rich, from the presents people gave them. But chariot-driving was also very dangerous.

All the photos were taken in December 2009

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