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Maa – Palaiokastro Archaeological Site and Museum

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Coral Bay, 9km northwest of Pafos , Paphos http://tiny.cc/udr6sy

Overview

The Maa-Palaiokastro site, in the Paphos district, is where the first ancient Greek (Mycenaean) settled upon their arrival in Cyprus in 1200 BC.

The site, located near the Coral Bay resort, is a very important site for the island, as it is believed that this is where the Hellenisation of Cyprus started. On the site where the settlers established themselves, the excavators brought to light an earlier occupation of the Early Chalcolithic period consisting of houses formed from cavities in the rock and with light timber superstructures.

Its name of ‘Palaiokastro’ (‘old castle’ in Greek) comes from its imposing defensive walls that were always exposed. The fortifications of the settlement consist of two separate Cyclopean-style walls; the first wall protected the settlement from the land, and the second offered protection from the sea.

The site hosts a small museum of unusual architecture (work of the Italian architect-conservator and professor Andrea Bruno) and depicts the colonisation of Cyprus by the Mycenaean Greeks. Opened in 1996, the museum was financed by the A.G. Leventis Foundation. The main concept of the design was to keep the surrounding natural environment as intact as possible thus the building is an underground structure with only its bronze dome visible from outside.

Operating all year round (except on public holidays) entrance to the museum is €2.50. Opening and closing times, as well as entrance fees may change so it is advised to check before visiting.

Operating Hours: April 16 – September 15, Monday – Friday: 09:30 – 17:00 / September 16 – April 15, Monday – Friday: 08:30 – 16:00

MyCyprusTravel Tip

The settlement was destroyed in ca1175 B.C., probably by pirates, but it was soon rebuilt by the inhabitants. The site was finally abandoned around 1150 BC.

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