Kourion Archaeological Site, Limassol

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Amphitheatre at the Kourion

The Kourion
Is an awesome archaeological site, dating back to the early Neolithic period, 5500 to 3900 B.C and naturally a must for historians and archaeological enthusiasts.  It’s situated 4 km southwest of the village of Episkopi in the district of Limassol.

The most important monuments of the site are …

The Agora
Built on the remains of an earlier public building which was in use from the end of the 4th Century to the end of the Hellenistic period and in its present state is a structure of the early 3rd Century A.D with additions dating to the Early Christian period.  It is surrounded by Portico with marble columns on both sides.  On the northwest side of the Agora is a Nymphaeum and an impressive public bath which previously supplied the city with water.

The House of Achilles
At the north-western end of the Kourion, you can see The House of Achilles, only part of this building was preserved.  With a peristyle court, it is a Roman villa which dates back to the first half of the 4th Century A.D.  Several rooms are decorated with beautiful mosaic floors.  One of the most interesting floors depicts the story of Odysseus revealing the true identity of Achilles in the Court of King Lycomedes at Skyros.

The House of Gladiators
This dates back to the second half of the 3rd Century A.D. and is situated a few metres to the east of The House of Achilles.  Beautiful mosaics which adorn the east and south wings of the courtyard include a rare scene in Cyprus of Gladiator combat.

The Theatre
Originally built in the 2nd Century B.C. the Theatre as preserved today dates back to the Roman period and additions and restorations between the 2nd and 3rd Century A.D.   The spectators’ seating area in the amazing curved auditorium accommodates up to 3,500 people.  The stage which originally rose to the full height of the auditorium today has only preserved its foundations.

The Baths and the Complex of Eustolios
The complex of Eustolios is situated at the southeast end of the Kourion. The building dates back to the end of the 4th Century to early 5th Century A.D.  Beautifully detailed mosaic pavements cover the majority of the building.

The Early Christian Basilica
South of The Agora you will find the remains of the cathedral of Kourion.  This was originally built in the beginning of the 5th Century A.D. In the west of the basilica you will find the Diakonikon and the house of the Bishop of Kourion.  To the north the basilica extended to the atrium and the baptistery.  Following the destruction of the basilica in the 7th Century A.D. many pieces of its mural marble sculpture were incorporated in the pavement of a church in the neighbouring village of Episkopi.

The Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates
One of the main religious centres of ancient Cyprus where Apollo was worshipped as God of the Woodlands.

The Stadium
To the east of The Sanctuary of Apollo is the Stadium which has a U-shaped plan with seven rows of seats and accommodated 6,000 spectators.  This was built in 2nd Century A.D. and used until the end of the 5th Century.

The Small Basilica
Dating back to the 5th Century A.D. the three aisle basilica of Kourion is situated next to the Stadium.  The reservoir in the middle of the atrium was destroyed and replaced by a medieval limestone kiln.  To the north there was a corridor and a chapel.

Opening all year …
Winter, mid September ‘til mid April
Daily, 8.15 am ‘til 5.15 pm
Summer, mid April ‘til mid September
Daily, 8.15 am ’til 7.45 pm

Admission:
€ 4.50

Accessibility
Almost all the site is wheelchair accessible: small bridges and passage ways … The site’s western part can only be accessed via a special entrance that can be opened by the site’s guards. There’s also Special Needs Parking Space available and also Special Needs Rest Rooms available.

Free WiFi at Visitor’s Centre

Discover the very, very old Cyprus

By Maria Yiakoumi

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