Despite stormy weather on our arrival in Cyprus,
the day of our guided tour of the island dawned bright and clear, perfect sightseeing weather.
Driving east from Paphos to Kourion our first stop
was the sanctuary and temple of Apollo Hylates.
Apollo was the Olympian God of the Sun and of Music.
Worship of Apollo also known as the woodland God, Hylates
began at this site around the 8th century B.C.
It was awe inspiring to wander through the ruins of this sacred place,
listening to our guides as they recounted it's history
Weary travelers who sought sanctuary here often made sacrifices or left offerings,
to the Greek God, Apollo, on the Circular Altar.
As the only visitors that morning we relished the peaceful atmosphere and soaked it up.
Our Greek Cypriot guide Andreas and driver Michael
shared with us tales of Greek gods, myths and Roman legends
not to mention a delicious lunch of traditional mezes.
Situated high on a cliff overlooking the Eastern Mediterranean
the archaeological area of Kourion contains excavated ruins
dating to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods.
The Roman agora and baths were constructed in the 3rd century A.D.
The nymphaeum was a sacred place devoted to nymphs and minor divinities
- protectors of springs and waters -
Following Roman bathing customs the baths were divided into separate areas.
the tepidarium (warm room)
caldarium (hot room)
frigidarium (cold room)
Construction of the greco-roman theatre at Kourion began in the 2nd century B.C.
Extended during the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D, it could accommodate 3,500 spectators
who came to watch gladiators in combat.
The theatre has been fully restored and many concerts are held here throughout the year.
Judith @ LavenderCottage for Mosaic Monday