Limassol is known as the town of fun, there is always something happening from wine and beer festivals to carnival and various summer events. But apart from having fun one can learn a lot about culture, history and ancient kingdoms.
It is the second largest town in Cypurs and is also the island's main port, center of the wine industry and a major tourist resort.
The main archaeological sites in Limassol distict are:
Limassol Medieval Castle
You will find it in the heart of town only a few meteres from the old port. It was built during the 13th century but it's original form is not known due to many disasters. It was rebuilt during the 14th century. According to legends Kind Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre here in 1191. The Venetians later made many changes to the castle in order to use it for defending the city. The british then used it is a prison. Nowadays it houses the only medieval museum in Cyprus.
Was built in the 13th century by the Louisinians. They bought the land, built the castle and planted in the sourrounding area vines and sugarcanes. After the fall of Acre in 1291 the knights of the order of St. John of Jerusalem took over and it became the richest posession of the knights, known as Grande Commandarie. The sweat wine they used to make here is still produced nowadays with the name Commadaria.
Amathus Archaeological Site
Amathus was one of the ancient kingdoms which dates back to the 9th century B.C. It was a trading center with a big port. In 1191 it was totaly destroyed by Richard the Lionheart. Amathus was an important site of worship of the goddess Aphrodite - Astarte. Excavations brought to light the ruins of Aphrodite temple, the walls of the city, the ancient agora, remains of a port, a byzantine basilica and two necorpolis.
Curium is another ancient city-kingdom and one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Cyprus. It was built in the 2nd century B.C and was extended in 2nd A.D. Today the 3500 capacity theatre has been completely restored and is used for theatrical and musical performances. One can also see ancient villas, mosaics, an early Christian basilica and an impressive Nymphaeum, dedicated to the water nymphs.
It has a capasity for 6000 spectators and is the only ancient stadium found in Cyprus. It dates to the 2nd century A.D. Most probably ancient pentathlon events took place.
Sanctuary of Apollon Ylatis
Apollon Ylaits, god of the woodland, was the protector of Kourion. According to archaeological sources he was worshipped here from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. His sanctuary was an important religious center. It consisted of Apollo’s temple, which has been partly restored, pilgrim halls, the ‘palaistra’, a bath complex and a holy precinct.
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