Limassol is the second largest urban area in Cyprus after Nicosia. It is located on the southern coast of Cyprus and it is the capital of the homonymous district. It has been ranked by TripAdvisor as the 3rd upcoming destination in the world. Also, Limassol has been ranked 89th worldwide in "Mercer´s Quality and living survey". In general, Limassol offers a great quality of life to the locals, as well as to its visitors.
Like every location in Cyprus, Limassol is also famous for its "quality beaches", its heritage and of course, its always shining sun. For these three reasons, we cannot doubt why Limassol is one of the most preferable destinations worldwide. As a city, it has a lot to offer to its visitors, from the sun and sandy golden beaches, to cultural heritage. So let's have a quick tour around this beautiful place.
Kourion counts more than 6.000 years of history and it is also a UNESCO heritage site. Kourion is an archeological park that is situated in the west part of Limassol. Since the Roman era, Kourion started to "write history" and had its heyday mentioned in the writings of Ptolemy and Pliny Elder.
One of the most curious and interesting parts that you can see in Kourion is the archeological theater, where Ancient Dramas take place every year, so as to honor our culture and our ancestors. Also, the house and the Baths of Eustolios remain intact till nowadays and impress with their vivid mosaics.
Limassol Castle is located in the old town of Limassol and it is situated near the harbor. The Castle has a presence and a history that is known to every local; its architectural style reflects also in many of Cyprus' defensive buildings.
After recent excavations and during the crusades, a Byzantine fortress and a basilica were revealed. The excavations showed that the castle was built over an early Christian basilica, around the 4th - 7th century. In addition, more excavations have detected finds beneath the Castle, where the existence of an important church started the rumor that it was the city's first ever cathedral.
The Castle withstood attacks from the Genoese and the Mamluk Sultanate from Cairo, before being beefed up during the islands' Ottoman period in the 16th century. In the absence of a conflict, the lower levels of the castle became a prison and remained so until the 1950s.
The Kolossi Castle is located in the south-west edge of Kolossi village, that can be found 14 kilometers away from the city of Limassol. Kolossi castle was of great importance in the Middle Age. It is said that the castle (before it got rebuilt), was built in 1210 by the Frankish military. The present castle was built in 1454 by the Hospitallers under the Commander of Kolossi.
A couple of kilometers west of the ancient city of Kourion, there is this a temple complex, that was once the most significant religious site of the entire island. The Sanctuary of Apollo is an ancient monument dedicated to the God Apollo, who was the protector of Kourion for thousand years. People from all parts came to worship Apollo as God of the island’s woodland, from around the year 700 BC up to 300 AD.
The temple was built in two construction phases: one during the Classic period and the second, during the Roman period. Archeological investigation on the site suggests that the earlier evidence of the worship of Apollo dates back to the 8th century B.C, and continues up until the late Antiquity, in the 4th century A.D.
Large fragments of the sanctuary remain intact; some of those characteristically are a section of the wall and portico of the temple, stairways, columns, and a monument, where parades or dances would have taken place, as well as outer buildings, where visitors would have lodged.
It was founded in 1948 and it was originally housed in the Castle of Limassol. In 1964, during the conflicts, the museum remained closed because it was given to the Cypriot national guard.
The museum houses thousands of Cypriot artifacts from the district of Limassol, dating from the 10th century BC to the Roman period, illustrating the cultural heritage of the island. The museum also hosts ancients findings that were discovered in various archeological sites, including Chilourokampos in Parekklisia. These findings are dating back from the Academic Neolithic period up to the Late Bronze period. In addition, some of the museum's artifacts rich collection include a group of terracottas, a Hathor freestanding pillar and a limestone statue of the Egyptian god Bes.
So if you find yourself around Limassol, do not hesitate to make this trip back to ancient times, so as to live the experience of ancient Cyprus.
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