Sitting on top of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean stands the remains of the best-preserved Greco-Roman city of Southern Cyprus, Kourion (or Curium in Latin). According to legend, the ancient city of Kourion was founded by Achaean colonists from Argos in the Peloponnese. Systematic excavations have revealed that the city became an major settlement in the 13th century BCE when Mycenaean colonists settled there.
Coordinates: 34° 39′ 51.12″ N, 32° 53′ 15.72″ E
The city of Kourion prospered under the Ptolemies and the Romans and became an important cultural and religious centre with the nearby Sanctuary of Apollo Ylatis. Christianity started to be established at Kourion by the beginning of the 3rd century CE and eventually supplanted Apollo.
Kourion, like all other coastal cities of the island, was ruined by the disastrous earthquakes of the late 4th century CE. The city was rebuilt at the beginning of the 5th century before it was entirely destroyed by fire during the Arab raids of the 7th century CE. Kourion declined and was finally abandoned, its inhabitants having moved to a new site two kilometres to the east (the modern village of Episkopi). Kourion was not rediscovered until 1820 while systematic excavations began in 1934.
The excavated remains at Kourion lie about 19 km west of Limassol on the road to Paphos. Visitors can wander around impressive ruins such as the theatre, the House of Eustolios, the Early Christian Basilica, the Forum, the public baths and other houses with fascinating mosaics. Apart from the basilica and the House of Eustolios, all the other buildings belong to the Roman period.
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