salamis: an archeological site not to be missed


Some lesser-known archeological sites are not to be missed.  Salamis is one of those sites.  Near Famagusta in Northern Cyprus, Salamis is a fine example of an ancient “city kingdom” in Cyprus.  We hired a taxi to take us the 10km north of the city, and, while having had a general understanding of what we were to experience, were more than pleasantly surprised at our journey’s end. 

My first impression of the site was awe, then I settled into the calm of it all, surrounded by millennia of history.  It is a beautiful and [now] remote site, and if you search hard enough, you can find remnants of wonderful mosaics still where they were placed centuries ago.  While, according to the literature from the site itself, recent excavations have shown that its history dates back to the eleventh century B.C.E., the prominence of the city became apparent in the eighth century B.C.E. when it flourished as a strategic trade center – a trade center that saw its last inhabitants leave in the seventh century C.E., when the city was abandoned.

For a mere nine Türk Lirasi [approximately four euros], the site is yours.  There are no guards, no barriers, no real rules… just an open air space of amazing ruins for the thoughtful and engaged tourist to enjoy. Roman villas, a fourth century basilica, a first century amphitheater and baths, and a temple of Zeus are all sitting there, just as they were when the city was abandoned [of course a little worse for wear]. 

If this is your kind of thing, Salamis is an archeological site not to be missed.

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jt is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Italy and has a Masters in International Relations. He has traveled to all seven continents and one hundred nine countries and is quite fond of a good cappuccino.