Curium Ancient Theatre
The Curium Ancient Theatre is located at the southern end of the hill, on which the ancient city-kingdom developed and it occupies a dominant position on the coast 4 km southwest of the village of Episkopi in the Lemesos (Limassol) district. It was originally built in the 2nd century B.C. but what is preserved today dates to the Roman period with 2nd and 3rd century A.D. additions and restorations. In the curved auditorium, the spectators’ seating area accommodates around 3500 people. The stage only preserves its foundations but it originally rose to the full height of the auditorium. Today the theatre is used for cultural events.
The Kourion (Curium) archaeological site
The earliest evidence of settlement in the broader area of Kourion dates to the Neolithic period (4500-3900 B.C.), whilst the most ancient remains in the area of the ancient city itself are connected with settlements and tombs of the Middle and Late Bronze Age. According to tradition Kourion was founded by Argives in the 13th century BC, during the first wave of the Mycenaean expansion and others followed the Argives in the 12th century as a result of the Dorian invasion of Greece.
Systematic excavations were undertaken in 1933 by the Pennsylvania University Museum, and continued, with a break during the war years, until 1954. During the excavations the building of the Achilles Mosaic, the Theatre, the Baths and the Complex of Eustolios, the Stadium and the Sanctuary of Apollon Hylates came to light (during 1980-1983 the excavation of this site was undertaken by the American Mission of the Walters Art Gallery and the Universities of Missouri and Maryland). In 1974-1979, the American Mission of the Dumbarton Oaks Centre for Byzantine Studies carried out excavations in the Early Christian Basilica of Kourion. At the same time (from 1964 until today) the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus excavated the Agora, the House of Gladiators, the Small Basilica next to the Stadium and the newly discovered Coastal Basilica. The Department is also responsible for the creation of the archaeological park of Kourion.
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Entry into the theatre after the performance commences.
- Smoking, and the consumption of food and drinks at the archeological site (with the exception of water).
- The use of mobile phones during performance.
Taking photographs, with or without the use of flash, and recording (audiotaping or videotaping) part and/or the whole of the performance.
Audience members are expressly prohibited from occupying seats other than those specifically stated on their tickets.
Spectators attending performances at Curium Ancient Theatre are advised to arrive at least 45 minutes before the performance.
Important Announcements for the audience
The Curium (Kourion) Ancient Theatre is located in Episkopi village, 19 km west of Limassol on the way towards Paphos, about half an hour drive from Limassol (Lemesos), forty-five minutes from Paphos and about one and a half hours from Nicosia (Lefkosia).
Coming from Limassol or/and Nicosia via the Limassol-Paphos motorway (A6), follow the signs to exit the motorway at the exit marked “Episkopi / Krasohoria (Wine villages) / Kantou / Kourion Archaeological Site”. Exiting the left lane, you enter Gregori Afxentiou Street (Episkopi) and at the first junction (at 50 meters) turn left. Continue straight and at the end of the road turn right to continue your route on the provincial road (E601) towards Episkopi for a distance of 1,1km. Arriving at the junction, turn right towards the “Curium Ancient Theatre”. Continue straight for about 1,6km, passing through the village of Episkopi. After exiting Episkopi village, you continue your course straight to the archaeological site of Kourion for 850 meters and then turn left to head to the hill of Kourion, where the ancient theatre is located.
- From Limassol: Route no.16 [Leontiou EMEL Bus Station to Agios Ermogenis (Episkopi)] – estimated route duration: 55 minutes
More info: www.limassolbuses.com
Arriving at the end of the route to Agios Ermogenis (St. Hermogenes), you will direct on foot to the Agios Ermogenis parking area, where the Festival buses will transport you to the theatre. The last bus route for the transportation of the audience from the parking area of Agios Ermogenis to the theatre, departs at 20:40.
- From Nicosia: To facilitate the public from Nicosia, shuttle transport to Curium Ancient Theatre will be provided by the Festival, for selected performances:
• Departure: 18:30 (from the parking lot opposite the Handicraft Centre in Athalassa Avenue)
• Bus ticket cost: €3.00 (round-trip)
Ιt is necessary to purchase your bus ticket along with the performance ticket, 10 days prior, due to a fixed number of buses.
Within the archaeological site there is a parking space for up to 100 private cars, while spaces for coaches are limited.
Once the available parking spaces at the archaeological site are filled, the entrance of other private cars is prohibited. The rest of the private cars shall be parked in Agios Ermogenis and spectators will be transported to the theatre by buses.
The last bus route from Agios Ermogenis’ parking place to the theatre departs at 20:40. After the last bus route, spectators will have to walk from Agios Ermogenis towards the theatre, in order to attend the performance.
The archaeological site is accessible for wheelchair users. The western part of the site is served by a separate entrance, specially labelled which opens upon consultation with the guards of the archaeological site and the Festival organisers. Those interested should contact the organisers on the phone number 7000 2414, at least 5 days before the performance, to make the necessary arrangements for your parking and seats.
The Curium Ancient Theatre is used with the permission of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities.