Giant old theatre

Kourion Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 20 › view all entries

I head along leaving the goddess behind and head for an area with some old remains from a big ancient city. The Ancient city of Kurion this place was first settle back in 13 hundred BC but it really took off during the Egyptian and Roman rule. Most of the main sights today are from the Roman era. The city was more or less destroyed by the notorious earthquakes of the 5th century and a couple of hundred years later pirate raid forced the bishop of the town to relocate to a new settlement a few miles down the road. After this the old city were forgotten and remain more or less untouched until 1876 when the first excavations took place.

 

Kurion is way up on top of a hill looking out over the Mediterranean and up there I start wandering around for a while the first stop is the old bathhouse - most of the house walls has been destroyed long ago so there is only a few remains of the construction but the mosaics is still fairly intact.

The exit from the old bath leads to a path to a fairly large theatre.

 

Considering the size of some of the ancient theatres this is not super big with only 3.000 seats but it has a fair size and is pretty well preserved. The only thing lacking a bit is the stage area where there is not really very much left. From the top you can see the ocean once more.

 

After the visit to the theatre it is time to head down the road for half a mile or so. On the way I see how the Romans produced all those columns there is a prime example right there next to the path - made out of genuine plastic and hollow. I wonder how this could keep up anything but hey plastic must be stronger and more durable than I realized.

 

Down at the end of the path is the old Roman forum and an old Christian basilica. Both of the places is somewhat destroy. One of the reasons I can see at the Forum where there is a little circular pit which has been used to turn the marble columns into lime at some stage in the middle ages.

Hence you will not find much in the department of Marble columns but there is a few granite columns which seems in fairly good condition - but the marble capitols are missing.

 

In the forum area is the old bath house which still has some of the mosaics present and you can see some of the foundations for the hot baths - they kind of explain how they worked but I still don’t really get it.

 

After the forum there are a couple of houses they are named after the mosaics which were found in the houses. The first is the house of the gladiators which may have been a private house or it may have been some sort of semi public house. After this house is the house of Achilles which naturally is named after the mosaics depicting scenes from the life of the hero.

 

On a small side track is a little house called the earthquake house - because it is just a little bit away from the other attractions it seems like only a tiny fraction of the visitors bother to walk those extra few hundred yards - but hey I don’t care that only mean you can have the site to yourself.

The house is an old Roman house which were built around the 1st or 2nd century and it went through extensive remodeling in the middle of the 4th century - this remodeling were not to last very long because the house were completely destroyed by a giant earthquake around 465. This meant the interior of the house were more or less completely saved from later robbers and can be seen at some museum somewhere - in the house were found the skeletons of several people who had lived in the house and were killed during the earthquake.

 

I am finished with the main site now but there is a little extra bonus attraction down at the beach - an old beach cathedral which I kind of wanna go and see - I head down to the beach and see the many columns of the old basilica unfortunately the building is sealed off so I can’t really get as close as I would like but it is possible to see most of the site by look over the wire fence.

 

A little bit down the road from the ancient Kurion is the old stadium where the inhabitants of the city could come and watch different sports game takes place between the old athletes of the day.

Apparently they could watch the Greek petanlon which were five disciplines of athletics’.  The stadium has fallen somewhat into disrepair but you can still sense the shape of the old thing.

 

Even further down the road is an old temple to worship of Apollo. There are some buildings left and there is yet another old bathhouse with a nice little bit of mosaic flour. The place has been used for sacrifices to a god for a very long time. There has been found a piece of pottery dating from 2300 BC which indicate the same spot have been used for sacrifice long before Apollo was a god. The old sacrificial alter is a strange sight. It is only a little round pit and apparently it is not because it has been destroyed - it has simply always been like that. Later the Romans put in several big additions to the old small place of worship including a big temple to Apollo. But the sacrificial alter was still round but now it was placed inside a big temple.

 

The best preserved part of this area is actually some strange buildings.

Which it is believed was used as a dormitory for pilgrims. I must say these dormitories did have a lot more style than what you can find in modern day hostels around the world. They were big massive buildings with lots of columns a probably a lot of decoration but these have been lots during the passing times. Well it is time to leave the coast and the warmish weather and head for the mountains.

sylviandavid says:
I love the way you travel..... Thanks for sharing this blog... a great history lesson!
Posted on: Jan 11, 2009
tvillingmarit says:
Great blog, very informative. Thanks
Posted on: Jan 11, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Original Roman plastic column
Original Roman plastic column
Lime pit - where all the marble st…
Lime pit - where all the marble s…
Gladiators in the Gladiator house
Gladiators in the Gladiator house
Gladiators in the Gladiator house
Gladiators in the Gladiator house
The theatre
The theatre
Small basilicca down at the beach
Small basilicca down at the beach
Small basilicca down at the beach
Small basilicca down at the beach
Small basilicca down at the beach
Small basilicca down at the beach
Small basilicca down at the beach
Small basilicca down at the beach
Small basilicca down at the beach
Small basilicca down at the beach
Old stadium
Old stadium
Old stadium
Old stadium
Heating system for the bath at Apo…
Heating system for the bath at Ap…
The old sacrificial pit - no templ…
The old sacrificial pit - no temp…
Old temple to Apollo
Old temple to Apollo
new scarificial pit - there used t…
new scarificial pit - there used …
The domitory - something has happe…
The domitory - something has happ…
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
The domitory
Kourion
photo by: tj1777