Kourion Archaeological site
Kourion Archeological site
The Kourion archaeological site is one of the best preserved pieces of history in Cyprus. Spanning centuries of time, it is a record of how varied the cultures and rulers of the island have been. Civilization has risen and fallen here with the next building upon the last.
Located about 13km west of Llimassol the acropolis sits high upon a hill, overlooking the sea. It is easily the most recognizable part of what used to be a major city and trading hub at various times throughout history.
The area in which Kourion is located has hosted human settlement sometime in the period between 5500 BCE – 4000 BCE but indirect evidence shows that the Kingdom of Kourion was established sometime between 1050 BCE – 750 BCE. During this time, it is believed to have been an independent Kingdom in contact with mainland Greece. Since then is has traded hands between empires such as the Persians, Egyptians and Romans.
Throughout all of this, Kourion expanded and flourished. Extensive infrastructure was developed such as aqueducts to provide water to the otherwise dry city. Large basilicas and cathedrals were constructed to represent the various religions at their respective times. A forum, amphitheater and bath districts showed the community that thrived within the borders of the city. All of which have remains that can be clearly recognized today.
Now visitors can find Kourion easily by signs on the B6 motorway east of Llimassol. It is almost directly south of the village of Episkopi and has plenty of parking. Entrance fee is 4-5 EUR and visitors can easily spend the better part of a day here exploring the ancient remains and beautiful pathways. The sea always there to take your breath away as the cliffside view is astounding. You find it easy to imagine what life might have been like here all those centuries ago.
For non history buffs, there are plenty of signs that describe what archaeologists have surmised about the origins and purposes of the excavations.
Another thing that makes Kourion special is the many mostly intact tile mosaics that still exist in their original structures. The artwork depicting the times in a very real way that most people can appreciate.
Or stand on the floor of the amphitheatre and imagine the crowds of people that used to fill the seats.
We can’t recommend this place enough for anyone who has even a passing interest in the rich history of Cyprus and the Mediterranean!