Tombs of the Kings, Paphos

nicolas_ktorides_tomb

Tombs of the Kings, Paphos


The Tombs of the Kings is a Unesco World Heritage Site and displays a number well-preserved underground tombs and chambers used historically by residents of Nea Pafos during the Roman times.

The tombs are one of a kind attraction in Cyprus; and are carved out of solid sandstone, which were an impressive home to the burial sites of Paphos-based aristocrats and high officials during the 3rd century AD. Nowadays, visitors can enjoy peaceful walks around the beautiful grounds and admire the impressive architectural remains & structures.

 

History

The underground tombs were in use from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD and were designed with heavy influences from the ancient Egyptian traditions, which supposed that tombs of the dead should mimic houses for the living. Some of the tombs feature Doric style columns and hand painted wall designs. On site archaeological excavations have been ongoing for over a decade now with hopes to uncover more hidden areas.

 

Not to be Missed

The seven tombs are spread over a relatively wide area; however the most impressive is Tomb Number 3, which has an open vestibule below ground level, surrounded by columns that have been restored to immaculate condition.

You will notice other tombs have square shaped holes built into the walls which is where the bodies were stored. Most of the excavated tombs’ treasures have slowly been  by grave robbers over the years.

Tip: Visit the tombs a while before sundown to watch a stunning sunset with sea views and an atmosphere you can’t beat.

 

Fun Fact

Despite the name, the tombs were not actually used by royalty historically; they earned the title from their majestic appearance.

 

Location

Located 2km north of Kato Paphos, you will find the tombs a short 5 minute drive out of Paphos city centre.

Didn’t rent a car? No problem! The Paphos Bus route 615 in the direction of Coral Bay stops right outside the entrance. The buses run about every 15 minutes from Harbour Bus Station during weekdays and Saturdays.


Photo Credit: Nicolas Ktorides

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