An entrance lined by rosemary bushes awakens an internal sense of remembrance as you walk into the ‘Tombs of the Kings’ in Paphos, once believed to be the final resting place for royalty.
Although no kings are buried at the site, the area houses fantastic underground tombs for Hellenistic and Roman aristocrats, in stone-cut structures with multiple rooms, columns, and frescoes.
Some of the tombs mirror the houses of the living, with burial chambers opening onto a peristyle atrium. They are similar to tombs found in Alexandria, Egypt, demonstrating the close relations between the two cities during the Hellenistic period.
Although the tombs have been known and casually explored for centuries, they were first subjected to systematic excavation in the late 1970s and 1980s under the direction of Dr. Sophocles Hadjisavvas, former director of antiquities for the Republic of Cyprus.
An important aspect of these tombs lies in the ancient Paphian tradition of including Rhodian amphorae among the offerings in a burial. Through the handles of these amphorae, which were stamped, it is possible to date them as well as other items from the same burial.
The site is open from April 16 to September 15, 08:30 – 19:30 (daily) and from September 16 to April 15 from 08:30 – 17:00 (daily). The site is closed on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday (Greek Orthodox). The entrance fee is €2.50 per person.
Note: Opening and closing times as well as entrance fees, are subject to alterations without notice. Visitors are advised to check before visiting.