It’s great to throw in a bit of history and some culture on a holiday to Cyprus and when Kate my step-daughter was here we decided to visit the Sanctuary of Apollo. She is the perfect person to go with as she absolutely loves it.
Getting out of the car the hot air quickly hit us but fortunately the wind was blowing too so it took away the direct heat and helped us to enjoy the visit and walk around the archaeological site.
The Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates lies west of the ancient city of Kourion (which we visited) and is one of the most important sanctuaries of ancient Cyprus.
Apollo Hylates was considered God of the Forest and was the protector of Kourion and is believed to have been worshiped in the area since the 8th century BC. – in the 4th century AD.
This sanctuary was built in the Copper Age and was destroyed in 365 AD due to a strong earthquake in the area which also destroyed the ancient city of Kourion. Of course this was not the end of the Sanctuary of Apollo as much of it was rebuilt again.
Today’s ruins date back to the 1st century AD. The site of the sanctuary is a palaestra, a gallery, a treasury, the baths, the Archaic mosque, the circular monument, the central courtyard and the temple of Apollo.
The 365 BC was destroyed by an earthquake. It is worth mentioning that the remnants of the circular monument found were supposed to be processions or dances around a garden of sacred trees.
In the south eastern part of the sanctuary is the palaestra, a central courtyard surrounded by colonnades, which was the place where the athletes practiced. In the sanctuary there are also Roman baths. Both the baths and the palaestra are outside the main sanctuary.
The majority of the monuments, as they are today, belong to the restoration that took place in the temple in the 1st century A.D. and consist of the Temple of Apollo, the pilgrimage halls, the “palaestra”, a bath complex and the sacred enclosure.
Have a look at the You Tube video to get an idea of it and the surrounding area. It is quite spectacular
Kourion Beach isn’t too far from here and we were desperate to have an icecream and get into the sea to cool down.
We had brought a picnic with us so after taking a dip we had some lunch and enjoyed the view.