Tombs of the Kings

sights / Historic

Tombs of the Kings information

Pafos , Cyprus
Address
Street Kato Pafos
Telephone
+357 2694 0295
Prices
admission €2.50
Opening hours
8.30am-7.30pm
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Lonely Planet review

Imagine yourself surrounded by ancient tombs in a desert-like landscape where the only sounds are waves crashing on rocks. The Tombs of the Kings, a Unesco World Heritage Site, contains a set of well-preserved underground tombs and chambers used by residents of Nea Pafos during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD. Despite the name, the tombs were not actually used by royalty; they earned the title from their grand appearance.

Located 2km north of Kato Pafos, the tombs are unique in Cyprus, being heavily influenced by ancient Egyptian tradition, when it was believed that tombs for the dead should resemble houses for the living. This fascinating and mysterious site contains a set of well-preserved underground tombs and chambers used by members of the higher social classes who were residents of Nea Pafos during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD.

The seven excavated tombs are scattered over a wide area; the most impressive is No 3, which has an open atrium below ground level, surrounded by columns. Other tombs have niches built into the walls where bodies were stored. Most of the tombs’ treasures have long since been spirited away by grave robbers.