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Episkopi

Attractions Episkopi

Kolossi Castle

Fortification, called Colossus, located in 11 km west of Limassol in the homonymous village. The castle itself was rebuilt in the XV century on the ruins of a medieval fortress of the XIII century. Initially, in 1291 year Crusaders settled here, and in the XIV century, they were replaced by the Knights of St John, known to the world as the Knights of Malta, they are called ion exchangers. They are engaged in the cultivation of sugar cane and grapes. It is believed that the famous Cypriot wine "Commander" has gone from here.

Kolossi Castle, like many other castles in Cyprus, is a model of military architecture, it has a square shape and resembles a tower. This building height of 21 meter is equipped with narrow windows-loopholes and has a viewing platform, from where the coast can be seen as in the palm of your hand. All four walls of the fortress are equal in length, which is outside 16 meters, and inside - 13,5 meters. From earthquakes, the castle protected the stability of the structure and the impressive thickness of the walls. You can get here on a bridge, a lot earlier there was a ledge above it, which was intended to pour boiling oil or molten lead on uninvited guests.

Once inside the fortress, you will see two large rooms, one of them is the sheer size fireplace and staircase spiral extending to the second floor

Roof lookout enclosed with battlements, was restored in 1933 year. Unfortunately, the castle premises are empty, its historical past speaks only fresco of the crucifixion, which is located in one of the halls.

It should be noted that other old castles of Cyprus, which are open to visitors, have their equally interesting history.

Getting there: Take a taxi or bus from Limassol.
Hours of operationDaily from 07: 30 to 17: 00 (from 07: 30 to 19: 30 summer).
Entrance fee.

Kourion Archaeological Museum

In the village of Episkopi in 14 km west of Limassol is a museum founded in honor of Kourion. Here are exhibited objects found during excavations of the ancient Kourion and nearby places. The museum was given to the first floor two-storey building in the style of folk architecture, which was built in 1937 year. A distinctive feature of this building is a large veranda on the second floor, which stands on three transverse arches, located on the ground floor from the front side of the building.

The upper floor consists of a central hall and two large rooms, which are used as a dormitory for archaeologists, both foreigners and Cypriots working in Kourion.

Showrooms are located on the ground floor in two large rooms and a small room in the western part of the lower floor is the curator's office. Meanwhile, long room in the east wing is used both as a workshop for restoration work.

In the museum you can see all kinds of ceramics, sculptures, get acquainted with ancient inscriptions, coins and other art objects found in the Curio and its surroundings, as well as in the shrine of Apollo Gilata and the necropolises of Agios Germogenis and Kaloriziki. These items are displayed in the western exhibition hall. Among them are examples of restored mosaic, marble cladding and other elements of decor from the early Christian basilica, embodied in the form of ceramics, marble statues of Asclepius, Hermes (II century BC) and others, as well as bronze candlestick from the Kurion Square, coins and other interesting things.

In the east of the exhibition hall there are items from the sanctuary of Apollo, and Bambuly Phaneromeni cemeteries and tombs discovered in the vicinity of Episkopi. Of particular interest are samples of a variety of tools and household utensils made of gold and ivory, as well as jewelry and other small items relating to 1900-1050 years. BC Also eastern hall of the museum is decorated with terracotta figurines, marble statues, amulets made of steatite, which were found in the sanctuary of Apollo Hylates.

All the exhibits are accompanied by descriptions of their stories presented on small plates, and are complemented by a variety of photographs and plans. In the courtyard and shed, located in the back yard, there are a few finds from the sanctuary of Apollo, and Curio, are not included in the main exhibition of the museum because of severe injuries.

The museum is open every day (except Sundays) from 7-30 to 14-00.

Curio (ancient city-state)

Ancient city-state Curio, founded in XII century BC, is one of the most famous attractions of Cyprus. It is believed that it was built by the Greeks involved in the Trojan War. In order to ensure the safety of residents Curio erected on the cliff height 70 meters. However, in the IV century, it was almost completely destroyed by the earthquake, and in the VII century, escaping from the raids of the Arab conquerors, its last residents left. In the middle of the XIX century, foreigners have taken away most of the historical values.

In the former homes and Roman baths (term) preserved mosaics depicting fish and birds, which are symbols of early Christianity. This finding suggests that residents Curio Christianity was adopted around the IV century BC. Interesting floor mosaics preserved in nymphs Evstoliya House, the House of Achilles, and the House of Gladiators.

Greco-Roman amphitheater Kourion was built in the II century BC and later expanded it 400 years. In 1963 the theater was renovated and converted into a horseshoe towards the sea, today it can accommodate 3,5 thousand spectators. To this day, in the summer here are representations of Greek tragedy and concerts.

The long beach covered with gray-brown sand and pebble, is below the edge of the archaeological area, almost on the edge of the bay.

Excavations are open for inspection daily 7.30 19.30 to the summer season, and to 7.30 17.00 between c 1 31 October to May.

The Cyprus Wine Museum in Erimi (Limassol area)

At the beginning of the XX century, the native of Cyprus Anastasia Guy decided to fulfill her cherished dream - to create a museum of wine. It is on this island that this drink is produced over five millennia. The museum was decided to establish in the family house of Anastasia, in which they lived for more than a century. The village of Erimi was chosen not accidentally, because it lies at the crossroads of the wine roads of Cyprus, linking the center of Cyprus winemaking Limassol with the famous winemaking villages Omodos and Platres. Another advantage in choosing this village is its proximity to the ancient settlement of Cyprus - Sotira, where during the excavations scientists discovered grape stones (the most ancient find of the Mediterranean), and the nearby village of Colossi, where the castle of the Crusaders is located. As you know, they gave the name to the most famous and the oldest wine in the world "Commandaria".

Area thereof of three floors of the museum adapted to the exposition of photographs and drawings depicting the history of the Cyprus wine. Vintage jugs and vases, medieval wine vessels, old documents from the private collection of Anastasia Guy - all this clearly demonstrates how the wine is made and kept in the past. The fascinating process of wine production and zivania more detail can tell museum guides.

In another room of the museum presents old tools for the treatment of the vine and wine press, with which the inhabitants of the village of Omodos pressed bunches of ripe grapes. Important place in the collection belongs to the red wine jug, created by craftsmen of these places at the beginning of the Bronze Age, and measuring jug 18-19 centuries. Enormous size terracotta jug for fermentation and storage of wine, dating 1783 year, can be seen in the next room of the museum.

Collected under collection of the best wines of Cyprus, given the first floor of the house, as provided for tasting room "Hilary." Here you can relax, having tasted the widest variety of drinks, from light white wine made from grapes Ksinestri to deep red varieties of Mavro ophthalmia and Marafevtiko. Main collection takes place in Cyprus wine "Commandaria" that Richard the Lionheart called "wine of kings and the queen of wines."

This wine is made from grapes which ripen only in some regions of Cyprus. How and what can be called champagne if the wine produced in the French province of Champagne, and everything else just sparkling wines, and "Commander" may be cited only wine that is produced in five major wineries of Cyprus (everything else is likely fake) .

Technology of production of "Commander" has its own specificity, so it is produced only in designated areas of the state. The government controls the entire production cycle, during which from 5 kg of grapes is obtained per liter of wine. Further, it is kept in oak barrels for at least two years. Thereafter, the State Committee for tasting "Commander" takes the sample, and if the wine they like, they write permission for its sale.

Besides exhibitions museum visitors have the opportunity to watch a movie about all stages of the production of wine, starting with planting vines and ending its bottling. Visuals and music for the film created directly by Anastasia Guy, founder of the museum.

Temple of Apollo Hylates

Temple of Apollo Hylates - the abode of God majestic forests, located near the city of Kourion, on the side of the road opposite the Limassol-Paphos. This building dates back to the II century AD.

To date, the building is well preserved. The complex is a typical Cypriot pagan temple. Looking at it, we can distinguish three periods of its construction: Archaic sanctuary, Ptolemaic and Roman sanctuary. In the ancient temple of Apollo Hylates Archaic sanctuary conceals another, built much later and dating from the second half of the first century AD. The complex consists of palaestras, roofed colonnade (stoa), treasury, archaic temenos (sacred place), circular monument, courtyard and the Temple of Apollo.

The vast space housed in a series of colonnades with crumbling walls of buildings and fences. This sanctuary is one of the most significant of the surviving Cyprus arose in VIII century BC. In the Archaic period, this area consisted of a yard, fenced, and a small room. Later this place was built more spacious sanctuary, monuments which already assigned to the Roman period.

Two roads lead to the sanctuary - from the west of Paphos and from the east of Kourion. Visitors come here through the western gate, from which today only the bases of the columns that flanked them in the past were preserved. The gate leads into a large, non-standard form paved courtyard, which was surrounded by various religious buildings. To the left of the gate is a wide partially restored staircase that leads to the so-called north-west building towering on the platform. This building is poorly preserved, you can see its internal layout: on the axis of the building is divided into two elongated rooms, in each of them along the walls there are platforms framed by columns. Under the assumptions of the researchers, these platforms housed vocal sculptures, which were presented as a gift to the god.

Along the south side of the yard stretches monumental Doric portico covering the southern facade of the building. It consists of five equally planned isolated premises. In each of them along the walls stretch low platform built of stone and framed with Doric colonnades. Similar structure of the building with the north suggests that these premises have also been used as a repository for votive gifts.

At the entrance of one of these buildings is the inscription, which read that the premises were built by Emperor Trojans in 101 AD. The so-called South building was restored partially, here Doric colonnade was rebuilt from the slender smooth-columns surmounted by small capitals.

God Apollo was very revered by the Cypriots, which is why for centuries his sanctuary has accumulated a huge number of offerings. By the custom that existed throughout the ancient world, the priests from time to time "cleaned" their treasuries, in order to make room for new gifts. Since the offerings to the deity were considered sacred, they were not allowed to simply throw them away, so they were buried in the designated bogs, which were located in the sanctuary. Here, in the sanctuary of Apollo, there is also such a pit, it is near the eastern gate. During the excavations, vases and a huge amount of terracotta from the 5th century BC and the pre-Roman period were found in it.

Near Botros, opposite the southern building originates narrow street paved with stone slabs, it leads to the very temple of Apollo. Left it fenced low wall, and the right of it is the "House of the priests," where his small rooms adjacent to the square courtyard, facing the street. On the other side of the courtyard are the treasures of the temple premises. Walls listed buildings remained at a considerable height.

Moving along the street to the north, to the temple, visitors pass the fence of the ancient archaic sanctuary. During his excavations, a large number of vases and watery terracottas of the VIII-V centuries BC were found. The street leads directly to the foot of the temple, the miniature dimensions of which are not at all combined with the impressive complex of the entire sanctuary. In this is seen the ancient Cypriot tradition, according to which the center of the sanctuary is not a temple, and the altar, located in the open air, all religious ceremonies were held around it. This altar also existed in the sanctuary of Apollo, but its traces did not survive. It is known only that the altar was highly esteemed by the Cypriots. The Greek writer of the first century of our era tells that a sacrilegious man who dared to insult the altar even with a simple touch to him awaited a terrible execution: he was thrown into the sea from the high cliffs surrounding the shore of the sanctuary.

The Temple of Apollo was a sample of Roman temples of the period. He stood on the podium, which led to the wide staircase. Small Celle preceded by four-column portico. Today from buildings have only foundations.

Sanctuary complex completed two sites located outside the fence.

At the eastern gate (from the direction of Curio) of the sanctuary is a monumental staircase, to which closely adjoin towering over strange double columns denoting the corner of the rectangular courtyard of the palaestra - the building for gymnastics exercises. Gymnastic games in honor of the deity were a characteristic and widespread custom for ancient religion. The palesters existed with all the great sanctuaries of Ancient Greece. The shrine of the sanctuary of Apollo is built according to a typical plan for such structures: its center is an extensive open area of ​​rectangular shape, it is surrounded on all sides by a Doric colonnade. Up to now, from the majority of the columns, only the lower parts have been preserved, in their structure they are similar to the columns of the sanctuary. A distinctive feature of this building are the double corner columns, the drums of which are carved from one stone, the trunks of the columns on the inside are clearly separated, and from the outer - merge, forming a round corner. On both sides of the palestra is surrounded by rooms for rest and changing athletes. They are rather poorly preserved: in places the walls, built of small stones, are seen, from the well-ground stone slabs are the lintels of doors and windows that cut through the walls.

The western wall of undeveloped niche where once stood a statue of an athlete, playing ball, apparently, this game was popular here. This statue was found during excavations and now kept in the museum, and in its place stands a plaster cast.

In the north-west corner at the foot of the columns palaestras stands the majestic stone water jar Valium forms preserved half. Most likely, it was used for washing the athletes after gymnastic exercises. However, the more carefully they could clean up in the baths, which is opposite the building on the other side palaestras Kurionskoy road.

From the building of the baths, consisting of a number of small rooms, as well as from other buildings of the sanctuary, only the foundations have been preserved. These rooms are remarkable for their layout. Entering the waiting room through the vestibule, the visitors of the baths entered the room for undressing, followed by a frigidarium with a pool for cold water, decorated with a mosaic, only passing through it, one could get into a warm room - a tepidarium, occupying two rooms, finally, in the Caldarium - a hot bath. Directly adjacent to it was a room with an oven, from where hot air spread through the building under the floors and through a pipeline laid in the walls.

Its final form, judging by surviving inscriptions complex sanctuary of Apollo adopted during the reign of Emperor Trajan (first century of our time). The sanctuary was destroyed by an earthquake in 364-365 years. BC It then settled ancient herdsmen and some buildings have been partially restored.

Address: Kourion, Limassol
Hours of operationDaily: 08: 00 - 17: 00 (November - March), 08: 00 - 18: 00 (April - May), (September - October), 08: 00 - 19: 30 (June - August).
Work period: all year round
Entrance fee: 1,71 euros

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