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The temple of Apollo at Kourion

Hylates was a god worshipped on the island of Cyprus who was later likened to the Greek God Apollo. His name probably derives from ὑλακτέω [ʰylaktéō] „barking“ or ὕλη [ʰýlē] „forest“, which is why Lebek calls him Apollo of the woods. He was worshipped from the 3rd century BC until the 3rd century AD.

An important sanctuary was located in Kourion.

The Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates[edit]

The sanctuary is located about 2,5 kilometres west of the ancient town of Kourion along the road which leads to Pafos. It was one of the main religious centres of ancient Cyprus, where Apollo was worshipped as god of the woodlands. It seems that the worship of Apollo on this site began as early as the 8th century B.C. and continued until the 4th century A.D. The site has undergone many extensions and alterations in different periods. The majority of the monuments as they can be seen today belong to the site's 1st century AD restorations. A wall from which one could enter the site via the Kourion Gate and the Pafos Gate surrounds the sanctuary. Originally the site consisted of: a temple, traces of which survive in the foundations of the present temple; a circular monument, which was probably destined for processions or dances around a grove of sacred trees; and a formalized Archaic Altar and Precinct. During the Roman period the site was extended with the addition of the South and North Buildings, which may have been used for the display of votives or the accommodation of visitors. Terracotta figurines and pottery that were accumulated in the Temple from the 5th century B.C. to the Roman period were buried in the Votive Pit. A long street running from south to north leads to the Temple of Apollo Hylates, which was built in the Late Classical or Early Hellenistic period on the ruins of the Archaic temple. In the 1st century A.D. the temple was rebuilt with a different architectural style. A small building south of the Precinct may have been a priest’s house. Along the external east side of the walls are the Palaestra where athletes once exercised and played games, and the Baths.


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