The remains of Kourion (Curium in Latin), the best-preserved Graeco-Roman city on Cyprus, stand on top of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean sea. According to legend, the ancient city was founded by Achaean colonists from Argos in the Peloponnese. The city prospered under the Ptolemies and the Romans, and became an important cultural and religious centre with the nearby Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates. Christianity started to be established at Kourion by the beginning of the 3rd century AD and eventually supplanted the pagan god Apollo.
Coordinates: 34° 39′ 51.12″ N, 32° 53′ 15.72″ E
Kourion, like all other coastal cities of the island, was ruined by the disastrous earthquakes of the late 4th century AD. The city was rebuilt at the beginning of the 5th century before it was destroyed by fire during the Arab raids of the 7th century AD. 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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