Kourion

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

Kourion

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.

PORTFOLIO

The Roman theatre built over an earlier Hellenistic theatre, it was remodelled in the 1st and 2nd centuries and in the 3rd century it was used as an arena, Kourion, Cyprus
The Roman theatre built over an earlier Hellenistic theatre, it was remodelled in the 1st and 2nd centuries and in the 3rd century it was used as an arena.
The Roman theatre built over an earlier Hellenistic theatre, it was remodelled in the 1st and 2nd centuries and in the 3rd century it was used as an arena, Kourion, Cyprus
The Roman theatre built over an earlier Hellenistic theatre, it was remodelled in the 1st and 2nd centuries and in the 3rd century it was used as an arena.
Byzantine mosaic emblema in the House of Eustolios depicting a young woman in a medallion holding a measuring instrument equating of a Roman foot, the Greek inscription identifies her as Ktisis, the personification of Foundation/Donation/Creation, Kourion
Byzantine mosaic emblema in the House of Eustolios depicting a young woman in a medallion holding a measuring instrument equating of a Roman foot, the Greek inscription identifies her as Ktisis, the personification of Foundation/Donation/Creation.
The Early Christian Basilica dating to the beginning of the 5th century AD, Kourion, Cyprus
The Early Christian Basilica dating to the beginning of the 5th century AD.
The Early Christian Basilica dating to the beginning of the 5th century AD, Kourion, Cyprus
The Early Christian Basilica dating to the beginning of the 5th century AD.
The Early Christian Basilica dating to the beginning of the 5th century AD, Kourion, Cyprus
The Early Christian Basilica dating to the beginning of the 5th century AD.
The tepidarium (warm room) and the caldarium (hot room) of the public baths, Kourion, Cyprus
The tepidarium (warm room) and the caldarium (hot room) of the public baths.
The remains of the portico of the Roman Forum with unfluted columns and Corinthian capitals dating to the Severan era (193-235 AD), Kourion, Cyprus
The remains of the portico of the Roman Forum with unfluted columns and Corinthian capitals dating to the Severan era (193-235 AD).
Mosaic depicting two gladiators in combat, their names in Greek listed above: Margarites (left) and Hellenikos (right), late-3rd century AD, House of the Gladiators, Kourion, Cyprus
Mosaic depicting two gladiators in combat, their names in Greek listed above: Margarites (left) and Hellenikos (right), late-3rd century AD, House of the Gladiators.
Mosaic depicting gladiators being separated by a referee, late-3rd century AD, House of the Gladiators, Kourion, Cyprus
Mosaic depicting gladiators being separated by a referee, late-3rd century AD, House of the Gladiators.
Mosaic floor depicting the unmasking of Achilles by Odysseus on the island of Skyros, 4th century AD, Kourion, Cyprus
Mosaic floor depicting the unmasking of Achilles by Odysseus on the island of Skyros, 4th century AD.
The 186m long stadium, constructed during the Antonine period (138-180), it had a capacity of 6,000 spectators, Kourion, Cyprus
The 186m long stadium, constructed during the Antonine period (138-180), it had a capacity of 6,000 spectators.

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  1. Pingback: Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates – following hadrian photography

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