The Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates is an ancient monument dedicated to the God of Apollo who was thought to be the protector of Kourion. The sanctuary is located about 2.5 kilometres west of the ancient rural city of Kourion, at Episkopi, in Limassol. During the Ancient times, the Sanctuary was one of the most important religious centres in Cyprus, were Apollo was worshipped as Hylates, god of the woodlands.
The partly restored temple which is located in the area was built in two construction phases: during the Classic period or the Prime Hellenistic period and during the Roman period. It is a small prostele , four post temple with unfluted columns of a simplified Corinthian architecture placed on a modular platform.
Archaeological investigation on the site suggests that the earlier evidence of the worship of Apollo dates back to the 8th century B.C. and continued until the late Antiquity, in the 4th century A. D. The area was one of the most important centres on the island and was abandoned during the 4th century A.D.
Throughout the years, the site where the sanctuary is located, has undergone many alterations and modifications. The most of the current monuments at the site, belong to the 1st century A.D. restorations. In earlier phases, before the creation of the sanctuary, the site consisted of an earlier archaic temple, a circular monument and a formalized Archaic Altar and Precinct.
The Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates was built in the late Classical or Early Hellenistic period, over the ruins of the earlier archaic temple and it was a single construction and rectangular in shape. During the Roman period, in the 1st Century B.C. the sanctuary was rebuild, now with a different architectural style.
The site was extended by building the South and North buildings which as it has been argued, used for the display of votives or the accommodation of visitors. The new complex of the sanctuary included also a palaestra, a stoa, the treasury, the baths, the archaic temenos, the circular monument, the central courtyard and the temple of Apollo. The Sanctuary was constructed on a higher level and had a podium, a characteristic of the roman architecture.
The temple was destroyed by the severe earthquake of 364-5 A.D.
Location: Episkopi, Kourion, Lemesos
- Operating period: All year round
Monday - Sunday: 08:30 - 17:00 (16th September - 15th April)
Monday - Sunday: 08:30 - 19:30 (16th April - 15th September)
- Entrance: € 2.50
- Tel: +357 25 991 049