Amathous was one of the richest city-kingdoms in Cyprus boasting with Byzantine churches, Roman Baths, ancient Hellenistic palaces, prehistoric walls and temples. The city was founded more than 3000 years ago, and the archaeological site was discovered in the 19th century, surfacing significant remnants left behind by ancient civilisations. In line with legend, Ancient Amathous was named after Amathousa, who was the mother of a Paphian King. Findings have shown that the city-kingdom thrived from the 10th century BC till the 7th century AD. The city was continually attacked by the Saracens, but in the end, fell in the hands of King Lionheart who was the British English King, in 1191.
Aamthous is home to a plethora of archaic treasures illustrating the island’s rich history and culture! Let’s take a look at the top 10 ancient sites you should all keep an eye out when exploring Amathous!
- Temple of Aphrodite- the temple was built on the cliffs on the outer edge of the ancient city. Excavations have revealed that the temple was built in the 1st century and was obviously built to honour the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite.
- Barbara Chapel-the stone-walls of the chapel are covered with magnificent frescoes representing a number of Christian saints and martyrs.
- Mosaic Floors-the medieval mosaic floors are found near St. Barbara Chapel, on a site that originally decorated the floors of a medieval monastery.
- Christian Basilica-the three-aisled Byzantine church, which dates back to the 5th century, is found within the city’s ancient port, on the bottom of Acropolis Hill by the seaside.
- Gymnasium- once you enter the ancient city-kingdom you will view the ancient Roman Gymnasium where athletes trained and competed.
- Necropolis- found on the other side of the city-kingdom’s river, the Roman tombs were artistically cut into rock. The same tombs were reused by the Byzantines years and years after.
- Roman Baths-the black and white pebbled Roman Baths was where the Romans passed their leisure time bathing, socialising and drinking.
- Agora-like all ancient city-kingdoms, the Agora (market) was the heart of the town.
- Aqueduct-was used to supply water to the entire city-kingdom. The most impressive is the manmade sluice systems that were in place, that run through the city undergrounds.
- Hellenistic Houses-numerous Hellenistic stone-made homes and shops were excavated along the walls of the ancient city.
After a fabulous day spent at Amathous, full of history and inspiration, retreat to the 5-star Royal Apollonia. As a member of the Louis Hotels’ Elegant Collection, the Royal Apollonia promises guests will experience elegant comfort!