12.5mi/20km west of Limassol are the remains of the ancient city of Kourion, where there are baths (fifth century B.C.), fine pavement mosaics, the theater (A.D. 50-175; performances of music and drama-ancient dramatists, Shakespearean summer, and a Temple of Apollo.
This is an important ancient city-kingdom and one of the most spectacular archeological sites on the island.
The magnificent Greco-Roman theater was originally built in the second century B.C. by the Greeks and extended by the Romans. The seating was also moved back to protect spectators from the animals that were brought in to fight the gladiators. The theater is now used for musical and theatrical performances.
This is the most memorable feature of the site, standing in a semicircle with seats for an audience of 3,500.
The House of Eustolios, originally a private Roman villa, became a public recreation center during the early Christian period. The villa is built around a courtyard with porticoes on three sides and visitors walk round on raised gangways. The courtyard originally had a pool surrounded by mosaics and an inscription, which refers to Apollo and to Eustolios who built the Baths.
The baths also have mosaic floors and the central room has four exceptional panels. The first and most famous shows a partridge, the second a bust of Ktisis, a deity who personified the Creation. From the central room one enters the Frigidarium or cold bath, followed by the Tepidarium and the Caldarium or hot baths. Some of the baths can still be seen along with the mechanism for heating the water, air-ducts and furnaces.
The House of Achilles is the first point of interest. This was clearly an important building constructed around a courtyard in which there is a mosaic of Achiles disguised as a woman but inadvertently revealing his identity to Odysseus. This was probably built about A.D. 4.
Following along the road is the House of the Gladiators, which also has beautiful mosaic floors, showing two gladiators in combat.
The remains of an aqueduct are not far away. This was built by the Romans to bring water from a distant spring and passed overt the city walls to the Fountain House where it was stored for public use.
Beyond the Fountain House is the early Christian Basilica. It was built in the fifth century, and it is 70 meters long and 40 meters wide, with traces of mosaic visible on the floor. It was once supported with a dozen columns and the stumps of some of these are still visible.
The Nymphaeum is an elegant Roman structure.
The site extends almost a mile further to the Stadium, which is dated to the A.D. second century. The shape of the arena is still discernible, as are the entrance gates. Some of the seating has been reconstructed by the excavators.
Jun 1 to Aug 31: 9am-7:30pmSep 1 to May 31: 9am-5pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Greek Orthodox Easter
Entrance fee in EUR: