Salamis Travel Guide

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Salamis, four miles north of Famagusta is one of the most important and magnificent archaeological sites on the island. The mythological father of Salamis is Tefkros, an hero of the Troian War, banned by his father, King of Salamis, who blamed him for the suicide of his brother Ajax. Tefkros landed, at what used to be known as the Akalar Beach, with a handful of faithful followers. As soon as he settled down, he built a temple to Zeus (Yuppiter), whose ruins can be seen today in the southern section of the market. Tefkros gave this new town the name of his childhood home, Salamis.

The town had an inner and an outer wall. Fragment of the inner wall can be seen at the entrance to the site. An earthquake in the 4th century destroyed most of the buildings. The ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre were later used to build the Turkish Baths. The Amphitheatre, with its spacious stage, can still be clearly identified. Along the stage you can see the trench used to collect blood from the victims consecrated to Dyonisus before each ritual. Only the first eight of the fifty rows of seats balong to the otiginal Roman structure; the rest are later additions.

The site of Alasia, one of Cyprus' most ancient settlements, is in the vicinity of Salamis, southeast of St. Barnabas. Alasia was an affluent settlement during the Bronze Age. Its name is mentioned in several egyptian papyri. Archaeologists found gold and ivory ornaments, amphoras and Mycaenean earthenware in several tombs.

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