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Temple of Apollo Hylates

Храм Аполлона Хилатского

History of the sanctuary of Apollo Hylates

In ancient times Hylates was revered as the God of the islanders, and later identified as the Greek God Apollo.

Apollo Hylates is considered to be the forest God, the patron saint of animals and the city of Kourion. People began worshiping him in the 8th century B.C. and continued until the 4th century B.C. The sanctuary of Apollo was considered to be one of the main religious centres of ancient Cyprus.

The first mention of the temple of Apollo in Cyprus

Temple of Apollo Hylates

The Apollo Hylates’ sanctuary in Cyprus initially consisted of a temple which still stands to this day, and the circular monument, probably designed for marches or dances around the sacred tree and temple altar, which only the high priest was allowed to touch.

During the Roman period the temple of Apollo was expanded to the north and south, and new buildings were created which are likely to have been used to accommodate guests.

Starting from the 5th century B.C. and before the start of the Roman period, pilgrims and locals brought sacrificial offerings to Apollo Hylates which were placed in special pits. Archaeologists have since found numerous terracotta figurines, pottery and animal remains.

The long street leading from the south to the north part of the Apollo Hylates’ temple was built in the period of late antiquity (or in the early Hellenistic period), on the ruins of the older temple buildings.

Recent changes in the buildings of the temple

The surviving remnants of buildings and columns that we can see today were built in the 1st century B.C.

The restoration has changed the original appearance of the temple of Apollo and several new buildings have been added. Along the outer eastern wall of the Palaestra is a place for holding competitions in honour of Apollo. There are also training fields and baths, and near the southern wall there is a small building which may have been the home of the priest.

 

Temple of Apollo Hylates

Nowadays

The Apollo Temple complex today is one of the best known places associated with Cyprus. Its image can be seen on many postcards, posters and tourist brochures, and even on the packaging of local products.

Apollo Museum

Temple of Apollo HylatesToday the sanctuary of Apollo Hylates in Cyprus is a museum which is open daily to visitors.

The complex is well preserved, several of the cypress trees that used to surround the entire hill are still present, the walls of some buildings of the sanctuary are still there, as well as parts of the wall, a few stairs and columns of the Temple of the alter of Apollo.

In the temple of Apollo Hylates, located on top of a hill, an atmosphere of peace and quiet dominates. There you can spend a couple of hours enjoying the sounds of nature and exploring the amazing story of ancient Cyprus.

In the museum there are no restrictions on photography, so visitors can make their own unique snapshots at any point in the Temple of Apollo.

There is a pedestal with a description and a detailed map of the sanctuary available for those who are interested in dates and details of the history of the Temple of Apollo Hylates.

Opening hours

  • Summer: from 16 April to 15 September, every day from 08:30 to 19:30;
  • Winter: from 16 September to 15 April, daily from 08:30 to 17: 00.

Tickets

  • € 2.50;
  • 20% discount for groups of 10 people.

Getting there

Temple of Apollo HylatesThe Temple of Apollo is located 23 km from Limassol heading towards Paphos, and 3 km to the west of the archaeological site of Kourion. You can reach it by car.

If you are traveling on the A6 highway, turn at Episcopi onto the B6 and turn right towards Kourion, follow the brown signs to The Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates.

People coming on the old road from the centre of Limassol must pass by the Fasouri Water Park, go through Trachoni and, without turning to Kolossi, take the M1 which leads to the B6 highway, where you want to turn left towards Kourio and follow the brown signs to The Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates.

 

 

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