The ‘Tombs of the Kings’ is an impressive necropolis located outside the walls of Paphos town and was built during the Hellenistic period, the 3rd century BC, to satisfy the needs of the new town. Though the name would suggest the tombs of actual kings there are no royalty buried here, the burial monuments were built for high ranking Ptolemaic aristocrats and their families. The area was used for burial during the Hellenistic and later Roman period, the 3rd century BC to beginning of 4th century AD. There is also evidence of early Christian burial at the site. During the medieval period some of the tombs were used as makeshift dwellings or workplaces, for example a pottery workshop was run from ‘tomb 3’.
The tombs are cut into the native rock and many are submerged below the level of the earth, as one walks around the site out of nowhere steps appear, leading the visitor down into courtyards with Doric columns and frescoes. Sadly the site was looted extensively before excavations began in 1977 but the Tombs of the Kings remains a beautiful monument to the dead.
GPS: 34.77546, 32.40566