Amathus ruins

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By viotopo News
Amathus ruins

In southern Cyprus is what was one of the oldest cities on the island: Amathus. The ruins of this city are among the most famous for their worship of Aphrodite and Paphos. They are located opposite Agios Tychonas, west of Larnaca.

According to legend, the city's founding was carried out by the Cypriot king Cíniras, who named it after his mother. The whole story of Amathus has a detailed understanding of Greek mythology. Its construction was carried out in cliffs, which allowed the city to have a natural port. In the highest part, the Greeks built a temple visited by pilgrims devoted to Aphrodite.

In the 8th century BC., the city had a palace, and in the highest area of the cliffs, the Greeks had built a temple to which the devotees of Aphrodite attended. Various excavations have found that festivals and athletic competitions were held in the Temple of Aphrodite. Even a very particular and bloody battle, which consisted of hunting bears.

In remains dating from 600 BC, the name of the city is identified among the ruins. At that time, the people of Amathus had an excellent relationship with the Phoenicians. Thus the things, the convulsed world of then found them in a bloody war with the Persians. The city's political and strategic importance continued, and the religious character through its temples continued during the Roman period.

By the 4th century AD, the city was the seat of a Christian bishopric. Meanwhile, it continued to grow and consolidate as a beacon of culture and economy in the region. At the end of the 6th century, a very particular event occurs. Saint John the Charitable (Ayios Ioannis Eleimonas) is born in Amathus. The personage in question later was a protector of the horsemen of the Order of Malta. Like him, other illustrious characters of the time were born in this city. The city continued to progress, but over the years, it lost its initial shine. When Richard I of England won Cyprus in 1191, what was left of the city was sacked, and much of its stones and blocks were taken to Limassol.

By the 19th century, the city had disappeared. Many of its blocks had even been used for the construction of the Suez Canal. The town continued to be dismantled, and various blocks were taken to museums in Continental Europe.

At present, the ruins are preserved with the corresponding zeal and scientific rigor typical of a site of these characteristics, being a living testimony of a past full of stories and legends. Since 1980 and together with archaeological excavations, its history has been found and rediscovered: the acropolis, the Temple of Aphrodite, the city walls, the agora, the old port, and the basilica were excavated. What so far could not be identified are the sanctuaries of Adonis and Aphrodite. Much of the objects found during the various excavations are in the Archaeological Museum of Limassol and Cyprus's Museum in Nicosia

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