is steeped in legend
Other legends still, state that Ariadne, the beautiful
daughter of Minos who fled from Labyrinth in Crete
with Theseus was later abandoned here in a state of
advanced pregnancy, to die later during the birth
of her child.
She is said to be buried at Aridela, a small grove
named in her honour.
The city itself took its name from
Amathusa, the mother of King Kinyras from Paphos,
and historical evidence shows that the area was populated
at least 3,000 years ago.
Amathus has amazing sea views, as it was built on
the coastal cliffs to the east of Limassol.
and became, even during the early years of its settlement,
a very rich kingdom.
During the Post Phoenician Era (800
B.C.) a port was constructed there also, which then
served the trade with the Levantines and the Greeks.
Excavations have discovered the Temple of Aphrodite,
which was built high on the cliffs, dates approximately
to the first century B.C. and would have been a special
worship site to Aphrodite, the goddess of Beauty and
According to legends, Amathus was where Adonia took
place, in which athletes during sport competitions
hunted wild boars, and also competed in singing and
dancing to the honour of Adonis.
and King Richard
It was a rich and densely populated kingdom
with a flourishing agriculture and had mines situated
very close to the northeast of Kalavasos.
During the Roman Era, it became the capital of one out of the four (4) administrative
regions and continued to flourish until the Byzantine Period. But, by the time
by Richard the Lionheart arrived in Cyprus, Amathus had gone into decline and
its rich tombs plundered. The stones from the beautiful edifices were taken
to Limassol and used for new constructions. Then much later, in 1869, a vast
amount of stone blocks from Amathus were used for the construction of the Suez
Cypriot and French archaeologists started archaeological
excavations at the site in 1980 and continue until
the present day. The Acropolis, Aphrodite’s Temple, the city’s
walls, market, Basicila and the port have all been
Many wonderful archaeological treasures have been
found and are now being shown at the Cyprus Museum
in Nicosia as well as at the Limassol District Archaeological
The biggest treasure of Amathus is being shown
at Paris in the Louvre Museum. It is made from a single
big limestone, is 1.85 m. high, weighs 14 tons
and has four curved handles decorated with the head
of a bull. Dating to the 6th century B.C, it
was used for storing the must from the grapes, which
after fermentation becomes wine.