The hill of Kourion, on which the acropolis of the ancient city-kingdom developed, occupies a dominant position on the coast 4 km southwest of the village of Episkopi in the Lemesos district. The earliest evidence of settlement in the broader area of Kourion dates to the Neolithic period (5500-3900 B.C.), whilst the most ancient remains in the general area of the ancient city are associated with settlements and tombs of the Middle and Late Bronze Age. According to tradition Kourion was founded by Argives in the 12th century B.C.

Systematic excavations were undertaken in 1933 by the Pennsylvania University Museum, and continued, with a break during the war years, until 1954. In 1974-1979 the American Mission of the Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies carried out excavations in the Early Christian Basilica of Kourion.

The Theatre: It was originally built in the 2nd century B.C. but what is preserved today dates to the Roman period with 2nd and 3rd century A.D. additions and restorations. In the curved auditorium the spectators’ seating area accommodates around 3500 people. The stage only preserves its foundations but it originally rose to the full height of the auditorium. Today the theatre is used for cultural events.

More info on the Department of Antiquities