Jiyeh, also known as Porphyreon (meaning purple city) was a thriving natural seaport that dates back to the Phoenician era.
The Hebrew prophet Jonah was said to have landed on its shore when he was spat out by the giant fish described in the Old Testament. It is also said that many invaders passed through Porphyreon such as Alexander the Great who relaxed on its shore, as well as St Peter and St Paul who walked through Jiyeh several times.
Mosaics depicting the story of the Prophet Jonah and the giant fish in the Old Testament have been found on site. Examples of these can be found at the Mosaic museum of Beiteddine Palace.
The archaeological site houses settlements, ruins of a Byzantine church and wells.
Most of the city’s tombs were removed to construct Jiyeh resort, and a few are still preserved within the resort’s premises that can be visited.