Salamis

Overview

Introduction

Now part of Turkish Cyprus, this ruined city was the capital of ancient Cyprus and the most impressive of the 10 Cyprus city-kingdoms. The site of a famous Greek victory over the Persians in 449 BC, it was hit by serious earthquakes in AD 76 and AD 331, which tumbled parts of the city into the sea. After it was destroyed by Arab invaders in the seventh century AD, the city was never rebuilt. Attractions include well-preserved Roman forums, the fourth-century Basilica of St. Epiphanius, Roman baths and a gymnasium. The brilliant white columns and walls of this old city extend right into the sea—visitors can rent snorkeling equipment and explore what has become an underwater ruin. Nearby is the Monastery of the Apostle Barnabas, supposedly built on the spot where the saint was stoned during the reign of Nero. The holy site has interesting icons and a lovely setting. A full day could be spent exploring the area around Salamis, as well as Engomi and Famagusta. 30 mi/50 km east of Nicosia.

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