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Visiting The Ancient Sites And Monuments In Cyprus

Aug 29, 2007
Cyprus is loaded with history and offers plenty of opportunity of getting immersed into the past as you ramble around the numerous ancient monuments and sites.

The Choirokoitia is a Neolithic Settlement site, 32 km from Larnaka town. It has been on the official list of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site since 1998 and is preserved much better than other sites from around this period. Though the site has been reconstructed, the authenticity of the place has been religiously maintained using the same traditional materials and methods of that period. Even the plant life at this site is representative of that bygone era.

The archaeological site of Kourion, 19 km west of Lemesos offers the spectacular sight of the restored Greco-Roman Theater that was originally constructed in the 2nd century BC and used for theatrical and musical performances. Visitors can marvel at the stunning 5th century mosaic floors in the House of the Gladiators and the House of Achilles. The Nymphaeum, an elegant Roman structure dedicated to the water nymphs as well as the early Christian Basicilica are no less impressive.

The architectural remains of the Kition, an ancient city-kingdom date back to the 13th century BC. The Mycenaean Greeks rebuilt it sometime in 1200BC and excavations have revealed a complex of five temples and walls constructed out of large stone blocks.

A visit to Pafos reveals impressive underground tombs spread over an extensive area which dates back to the 4th century BC. Carved from solid rock, some of these tombs are decorated using Doric pillars. Though it was the burial place of high officials and not really kings, the names reflect the magnificence of the tombs.

Episkopi, 3 km west of Kourion, houses the sanctuary of Apollo Ylatis, God of the Woodland and protector of Kourion city. Restorations have been done on the temple's southwest side and excavations have revealed important structures of this sanctuary including the palaistra, the pilgrim halls, a holy precinct and the bath complex.

The Pafos Mediaeval fort was originally a Byzantine fort constructed to offer protection to the harbor. In the 13th century it was reconstructed by the Lusignans and later after being dismantled in 1570 by the Venetians, it was re-rebuilt in the 16th century by the Ottomans.

Palaipafos, Old Pafos, one of the ancient Greek world's most important pilgrimage centers is home to the renowned sanctuary of Aphrodite. The museum is housed in the Lusignan Manor and contains numerous fascinating discoveries from the area. The ancient remains date back to the12th century BC.
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