History of the Tomb of the Kings - Paphos
Countless people around the globe visit Cyprus for a holiday every year, whether it’s for the island’s nightlife or the many great beaches to relax upon. However, anyone who’s planning to stay in Paphos may want to consider visiting one of the many amazing historic landmarks here; such as the Tombs of the Kings.
The history of this sacred site
While known as the Tomb of the Kings, there isn’t any evidence to suggest that royalty was actually buried here. Antiquarians decided to name the site based upon how impressive the tombs were – and it quickly became an accepted moniker. So, who was buried in these ancient tombs?
According to research, roughly 100 Ptolemaic aristocrats who had lived and died in Paphos during the 3rd century B.C – but their resting places didn’t stay sealed or untouched for too long. The catacombs were later used by Christians, with one of the tombs being turned into a chapel. Some of them were later turned into workplaces and makeshift homes during the Middle Ages.
Unfortunately, long before excavations began in 1977, the area was looted and most of the artefacts were deemed to be stolen. Some tombs were left untouched – and these were found when archaeologists excavated a number of burials from the Hellenistic period. Three of the overall 18 hadn’t been robbed; probably due to the fact that there was a large amount of collapsed material in front of them.
Why visit the Tombs of the Kings?
One of the main reasons why the tombs are such a popular tourist attraction is simply because of how impressive the archaeological necropolis is.
Carved out of solid rock and with a design heavily based on Macedonian prototypes, this is truly a magnificent site and well worth a visit for anyone staying in Paphos; even those who aren’t too interested in historic landmarks.
You’ll often be able to travel to different tombs via stairs, which lead into sunken rectangular courts. These are surrounded by Doric columns, which are carved from the rock, and this lends to the overall majesty of the site. Further on, there are passages that lead to niches for the individual corpses, which were often buried with jewellery and other costly goods.
This is sure to be an interesting visit for almost anyone staying in Paphos, so be sure that you don’t miss out on the chance to see this stunning site for yourself during your holiday.
Operating Period: All year round.
Closed on: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday (Greek Orthodox).
Entrance Fee: €2.50 Euros
For organised groups consisting of more than 10 persons there is a 20% reduction on the entry fees.
The Department of Antiquities can issue special entry cards for all its museums and ancient monuments: One (1) day entry cards - €8,50, three (3) day entry cards - €17,00, seven (7) day entry cards - €25,00.
Disabled Access: Partially wheelchair accessible (view from above only).
Opening and closing times as well as entrance fees, are subject to alterations without notice. Visitors are advised to check before visiting.