The southern parts of Cyprus have many remnants of Ancient Civilizations. The oldest site is Choirokoitia, a stone age village dating back as far as the 7th millennium BCE.

There are also important Greek and Roman sites, for instance Amathus, Kourion, the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates.

There are also important Byzantine sites, for instance in Limassol and Kiti.

Another interesting site is the Kolossi Castle, a former Crusader stronghold.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates

From the Wikipedia entry for Apollo Hylates

The sanctuary is located about 2.5 km (1.6 miles) west of the ancient town of Kourion along the road which leads to Paphos. It was one of the main religious centers of ancient Cyprus, where Apollo was worshiped as god of the woodlands. It seems that the worship of Apollo on this site began as early as the 8th century BCE and continued until the 4th century CE. The site has undergone many extensions and alterations in different periods. The majority of the monuments as they can be seen today belong to the site's 1st century CE restorations.

The complex includes the Temple of Apollo Hylates, the Sacred Street, the Priest's House, the Display Hall, the Public Baths, the Kourion Gate, the Paphos Gate, the Dormitories, the Portico, and the Palaestra.

The Palaestra was most likely a gymnasium for athletes.

The Portico was originally a covered walkway. It was built in the 3rd and 4th centuries, during the Hellenistic period.

The stadium of Kourion, located 0.5 km (0.3 miles) west of the acropolis and 1.1 km (0.7 miles) east of the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates, was constructed during the Antonine period (c. 138–180 CE). This structure provided sufficient seating for approximately 6,000 spectators. In its entirety the stadium measured 229 m (751 ft) long and 24 m (79 ft) wide.

In the late-fifth century, a small tri-apsidal, three-aisled basilica was constructed on the height northwest of the acropolis on the northern side of the road between the acropolis and the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates. In Classical antiquity this may have been the site of a sanctuary dedicated to Demeter and Kore, as evidenced by a dedicatory inscription found at the site, though the remains of this sanctuary have not been located.

Baths Building Dates
The Baths. This building dates to 101/102 CE. (820k)
Sacred Street Pavement
Sacred Street. The pavement dates to the emperor Trajan (end of 1st century CE to beginning of 2nd century CE). (814k)
Palaestra
Palaestra. (900k)
Large Clay Jug
Large clay jug, used to hold water for the athletes. (892k)
Portico
Portico. (788k)
Portico
Portico. (721k)
Display Hall
Display Hall. (1008k)
View Sanctuary Sacred
View of the sanctuary with the Sacred Street (right center) and the Priest's House on the left. (816k)
Priest's House First
The Priest's house is first building. It has a semicircular Votive Pit on the front wall. (952k)
Monumental Paphos Gate
Monumental Paphos Gate. (868k)
Columns Along Paphos
Columns along the Paphos Gate. (806k)
Temple Apollo Hylates
Temple of Apollo Hylates. (669k)
Stadium
The Stadium. (782k)
Small Basilica East
Small Basilica, just east of the stadium. (936k)
Small Basilica East
Small Basilica, just east of the stadium. (895k)

Kourion

From the Wikipedia entry for Kourion

Kourion was an important ancient city-state on the southwestern coast of Cyprus. The acropolis of Kourion, located 1.3 km (0.8 miles) southwest of Episkopi and 13 km (8 miles) west of Limassol, is located atop a limestone promontory nearly one hundred meters in height along the coast of Episkopi Bay. The majority of the archaeological remains within the Kourion Archaeological Area date to the Roman and Late Roman/Early Byzantine periods.

The Roman Theater has been extensively restored and is in use today.

The Eustolios House dates back to the early Roman period. It was extensively modified during the 3rd and 4th centuries. The building we see today is the result of further remodeling during the reign of emperor Theodosius II (408-450 CE).

The early Christian Basilica, located along the crest of the cliffs immediately southwest of the forum, was constructed at the beginning of the fifth-century and renovated successively in the sixth century.

This cathedral, the seat (cathedral) of the Bishop of Kourion, was a monoapsidal, three-aisled basilica, constructed on an east-west orientation. The aisles were separated from the nave by colonnades of twelve columns set on plinths. The central nave's eastern terminus ended in a semicircular hemidomed apse with a synthronon.

The forum of Kourion, as it appears today, was constructed in the late second or early third centuries. The forum, the center of public life, consisted of a central pavement with colonnaded porticoes set along its east, north and western sides. The eastern portico measured 65 m (213 ft) in length and 4.5 m (14.8 ft) wide, with a colonnade facing the courtyard, and a wall forming frontage of shops to the west. The northern portico provided access to a monumental nymphaeum and a bath complex thermae constructed around the nymphaeum to the north. The western portico was renovated in the early fifth century to provide an entrance to the episcopal precinct, located immediately to the west.

The nymphaeum, was developed in four successive phases from the early first century CE to the mid seventh century, and was among the largest nymphaea in the Roman Mediterranean in the second and third centuries. In its earliest phase the nymphaeum consisted of a rectangular room with a tri-apsidal fountain set in its northern wall flowing into a rectangular basin along the length of the same wall. After an earthquake in 77 CE, the nymphaeum was rebuilt between 98 and 117 CE. The nymphaeum was internally dived by a courtyard with a room to the south containing an apsidal fountain and rectangular basins. In this phase, the nymphaeum measured 45 m (148 ft) long and 15 m (49 ft) wide. After its destruction in the earthquakes of the late fourth century, the nymphaeum was rebuilt as a three-aisled basilica with apses along the southern wall. This structure was used as a temporary church between 370 and 410 CE during the construction of the ecclesiastical precinct to the west. It was abandoned in the mid seventh century.

The Public Baths, which surround the nymphaeum at the northwestern end of the forum, were constructed in the early to mid fourth century CE following repairs to the nymphaeum. The baths were divided into east and west wings by the nymphaeum. The baths contain a frigidarium (cold bath), a tepidarium (warm bath), a caldarium (hot bath), and a steam bath.

The Roman Private House (Earthquake House) was built in the 1st or early 2nd century CE, remodeled in the mid-4th century and destroyed in the earthquake in 365 CE.

The so-called House of the Gladiators is located south and east of the House of Achilles. The structure dates to the late-3rd century CE and has been interpreted as an elite-private residence, or perhaps more probably as a public palaestra. The later interpretation is supported by the absence of many rooms appropriate for living spaces and that the structure was entered from the east through the attached bath complex. The main wing of the structure is arranged around a central peristyle courtyard. The northern and eastern portico of the atrium contains two panels depicting gladiators in combat, the only such mosaics in Cyprus. The structure was extensively damaged in the earthquakes of the late-4th century, but the east rooms seem to have been used until the mid-7th century.

The House of Achilles is located at the northwestern extent of the acropolis, at the southern end of a saddle connecting the acropoline promontory to the hills to the north and west. In antiquity, it was located outside the walls near the proposed site of the Paphos Gate. Constructed in the early fourth century CE, it has been interpreted as an apantitirion, or a public reception hall for imperial and provincial dignitaries. Its precise function remains unknown. The floor mosaic depicts Achilles meeting with Odysseus in Lykomedes house, where Achilles, disguised as a girl, was sent by his mother to avoid his participation in the Trojan war

Roman Theater
Roman Theater. (925k)
Roman Forum Dated
Roman Forum, dated to end of 2nd century CE to 365 CE. (772k)
Private Houses South
Private houses on the south end of the Forum (early 5th century to mid-7th century). (763k)
East Side Forum
East side of the Forum. (866k)
North End Forum
North end of the Forum. (756k)
Hexagonal Swimming Basin
Hexagonal swimming basin, measuring 9.25 m (30.35 ft) in diameter and 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in depth, the cold bath (frigidarium) of the Public Baths complex (200-365 CE). (932k)
Steam Bath
Steam bath. (1011k)
Steam Bath
Steam bath. (1040k)
Nymphaeum
Nymphaeum. (852k)
View Basilica
View of the Basilica. (824k)
View Basilica
View of the Basilica. (769k)
Northeast Side Basilica
Northeast side of the Basilica with the apse. (823k)
Baptistery Floor Mosaics
Baptistery with floor mosaics. (787k)
Baptistery Floor Mosaics
Baptistery with floor mosaics. (871k)
Close-up Baptistery Floor
Close-up of the Baptistery floor mosaics. (763k)
Close-up Baptistery Floor
Close-up of the Baptistery floor mosaics. (666k)
Six-sided Structure Atrium
Six-sided structure in the atrium next to the Basilica. (1020k)
Eustolios House
Eustolios House. (785k)
Floor Mosaics Eustolios
Floor mosaics in the Eustolios House. (617k)
Floor Mosaics Eustolios
Floor mosaics in the Eustolios House. (870k)
Floor Mosaics Eustolios
Floor mosaics in the Eustolios House. (979k)
Floor Mosaic House
Floor mosaic in the House of Achilles. (759k)
Floor Mosaic House
Floor mosaic in the House of Gladiators. (824k)
Floor Mosaic House
Floor mosaic in the House of Gladiators, showing a referee separating two gladiators. (822k)
Earthquake House
Earthquake House. (1043k)
Early Christian House
Early Christian House. (1077k)
Early Christian House
Early Christian House. (928k)
Floor Mosaic Early
Floor mosaic in the early Christian House. (723k)
Water Cistern Reservoir
Water cistern reservoir, in use from the early Hellenistic period (325 BCE) till the end of the 2nd century CE. (813k)
Column Corinthian Capital
Column with Corinthian capital. (694k)
Column Corinthian Capital
Column with Corinthian capital. (655k)
Corinthian Capital
Corinthian capital. (560k)
Pebble Mosaic Floor
Pebble mosaic floor (late Hellenistic period, 75-50 BCE). (901k)

Around Episkopi

From the Wikipedia entry for Kolossi Castle

Kolossi Castle is a former Crusader stronghold on the south-west edge of Kolossi village 14 km (9 miles) west of the city of Limassol. The original castle was possibly built in 1210 by the Frankish military, when the land of Kolossi was given by King Hugh I to the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem (Hospitallers).

The present castle was built in 1454 by the Hospitallers under the Commander of Kolossi, Louis de Magnac, whose coat-of-arms can be seen carved into the castle's walls.

Owing to rivalry among the factions in the Crusader Kingdom of Cyprus, the castle was taken by the Knights Templar in 1306, but returned to the Hospitallers in 1313 following the abolition of the Templars.

The castle today consists of a single three-story keep with an attached rectangular enclosure of about 30 x 40 m (100 x 130 ft). The entrance was originally via a draw bridge to the second floor.

The coats-of-arms on the eastern wall show the royal coat-of-arms of the second House of Lusignan, the Royal Family of Jerusalem, Cyprus, and Armenia in the center. To the right and left are the coats-of-arms of the Grand Masters of the order of St. John of Jerusalem, Jean de Lastic and Jacques de Milli. Below the royal coat-of-arms is the coat-of-arms of the Grand Commander of the Order, Louis de Magnac, believed to be the founder of the castle.

2 km (1.2 miles) east of the Akrotiri - in the middle of fields and orchards - is the ancient monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats. It dates back to the 15th century.

Church Nikou Georgiou
Church Nikou Georgiou in Erimi. (613k)
Kolossi Castle
Kolossi Castle. (915k)
Kolossi Castle
Kolossi Castle. (863k)
Staircase Kolossi Castle
Staircase in the Kolossi Castle. (754k)
Wall Painting Crucifixion
Wall painting of the Crucifixion scene on the second floor, dating to the 15th century. (871k)
Fire Place Castle
Fire place in the castle. (660k)
Coat-of-arms Magnac Dynasty
Coat-of-arms of the Magnac Dynasty over one of the fire places. (686k)
Coats Arms
Coats of Arms. (1060k)
View Castle Sugar
View from the castle to the sugar mill complex. (1004k)
Stone-built Vaulted Building
Stone-built vaulted building in the sugar mill complex, dating back to the 14th century. (586k)
Large Pottery Vessels
Large pottery vessels in the monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats. (807k)
Mosaic Saint Nicholas
Mosaic of Saint Nicholas of the Cats. (897k)
Close-up Mosaic Saint
Close-up of the mosaic of Saint Nicholas of the Cats. (1010k)
Lots Cats Around
Lots of cats around the monastery. (540k)

Limassol

The medieval Limassol Castle is located near the old harbor in the heart of the historical center of Limassol. The castle as it appears today is a structure rebuilt circa 1590 under the period of Ottoman rule. Archaeological investigation within the castle revealed that it was built over an Early Christian basilica (4th–7th century CE) and a Middle Byzantine monument (10th–11th century CE). Other finds beneath the Castle witness the existence of an important church, possibly the city's first cathedral. According to tradition, this is where Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre and crowned her Queen of England in 1191.

Amathus or Amathous was an ancient city and one of the ancient royal cities of Cyprus until about 300 BCE. Some of its impressive remains can be seen today on the southern coast in front of Agios Tychonas, about 10 km (6 miles) east of Limassol. Its ancient cult sanctuary of Aphrodite was the second most important in Cyprus, her homeland, after Paphos.

Tombstone Ioannis Petaloudis
Tombstone of Ioannis Petaloudis, 16th century. (852k)
Tombstone Clergyman Anat-johannes
Tombstone of clergyman Anat-Johannes, 14th century. (686k)
Tombstone Monk Johan
Tombstone of monk Johan Zaiet, 1350 CE. (801k)
Cover Sarcophagus Adam
Cover from the sarcophagus of Adam de Antiochia, Marshal of Cyprus, 14th century. (659k)
Marble Slab Chancel
Marble slab from a chancel closure, 5th century, with Maltese cross. (681k)
View Over Amathus
View over Amathus. (835k)
Closer View Ruins
Closer view of the ruins of Amathus. (1069k)
Closer View Ruins
Closer view of the ruins of Amathus. (934k)
Part Amathus
Part of Amathus. (898k)
Part Acropolis Over
Part of the acropolis over Amathus. (889k)

Choirokoitia

Choirokoitia (or Khirokitia) is an archaeological site dating from the Neolithic age. The site is known as one of the most important and best preserved prehistoric sites of the eastern Mediterranean. It was occupied from the 7th until the 4th millennium BCE.

The Neolithic Settlement of Choirokoitia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

View Choirokoitia Site
View of the Choirokoitia site. (1165k)
Building Remains Choirokoitia
Building remains in Choirokoitia. (1175k)
Building Remains Choirokoitia
Building remains in Choirokoitia. (1010k)
Recently Excavated Building
Recently excavated building remains in Choirokoitia. (1298k)
Reconstructed Buildings
Reconstructed buildings. (926k)

Kiti

Panagia tis Angeloktistis ("Panagia Built by Angels") is a Byzantine church in Kiti, roughly 12 km (7 miles) southwest of modern-day Larnaka, dating back to the 6th century.

Panagia Tis Angeloktistis
Panagia tis Angeloktistis. (748k)
Panagia Tis Angeloktistis
Panagia tis Angeloktistis. (968k)
Panagia Tis Angeloktistis
Panagia tis Angeloktistis. (634k)
Interior Panagia Tis
Interior of the Panagia tis Angeloktistis. (818k)
Paintings Panagia Tis
Paintings in the Panagia tis Angeloktistis. (1010k)
Painting Panagia Tis
Painting in the Panagia tis Angeloktistis. (866k)
Wooden Cross Panagia
Wooden cross in the Panagia tis Angeloktistis. (687k)

Chapel of St. Catherine in Pyrga

One of the most interesting surviving structures from the Frankish Period on Cyprus, the Royal Chapel was built in 1421 by the Lusignan King Janus for his wife, Catherine de Bourbon. The building is a small, single-aisled vaulted structure without an apse. The interior has fragments of the original wall paintings.

Chapel St Catherine
Chapel of St. Catherine. (729k)
Interior Chapel
Interior of the chapel. (762k)
Wall Paintings
Wall paintings. (792k)
Wall Paintings
Wall paintings. (862k)
Wall Paintings
Wall paintings. (529k)
Wall Paintings
Wall paintings. (809k)
Wall Paintings
Wall paintings. (735k)
Wall Paintings
Wall paintings. (755k)
Stavrovouni Monastery Pyrga
Stavrovouni Monastery near Pyrga. (583k)
Church All Saints
Church of All Saints of Cyprus, next to Stavrovouni Monastery. (770k)

Larnaka

From the Wikipedia entry for Larnaka:

Larnaka is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus and the capital of the eponymous district. It is the third-largest city in the country, after Nicosia and Limassol, with a metro population of 144,200 in 2015.

Larnaka is known for its palm-tree seafront, the Church of Saint Lazarus, Hala Sultan Tekke, Kamares Aqueduct, and Larnaka Castle. It is built on the ruins of ancient Citium, which was the birthplace of Stoic philosopher Zeno.

The Church of Agios Lazaros (Saint Lazarus) was founded in the late-9th century. It is said to be built on the site of Saint Lazarus' tomb.

I also visited the Catacomb of the Phaneromeni Church. It has been dated to the 8th century. The structure suggests that it once was a pagan tomb, possibly dating back to Phoenician times.

See the Wikipedia entry for Catacomb of the Phaneromeni Church

Church Agios Lazaros
Church of Agios Lazaros (Saint Lazarus). (658k)
Bell Tower Church
Bell tower of the Church of Agios Lazaros (Saint Lazarus). (715k)
Interior Church Agios
Interior of the Church of Agios Lazaros (Saint Lazarus). (912k)
Painting Church Agios
Painting in the Church of Agios Lazaros (Saint Lazarus). (806k)
Painting Church Agios
Painting in the Church of Agios Lazaros (Saint Lazarus). (713k)
Aqueduct Built 1745
Aqueduct, built in 1745. It supplied Larnaka with water from the Thrimitus River. (802k)
Phaneromeni Church
Phaneromeni Church. (711k)
Catacomb Phaneromeni Church
Catacomb of the Phaneromeni Church. (946k)

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Cyprus
Main page for Cyprus

Page last updated on Thu Aug 15 10:52:32 2019 (Mountain Standard Time)


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