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Ancient Salamis

CYPRUS | Thursday, 12 February 2015 | Views [691]

Roman Salamis

Roman Salamis

FAMAGUSTA, OR MAGUSA, THOUGH IN THE NORTH, sits near the border.  Too close, actually, as it turns out.  All of the hotels listed on booking.com for Famagusta are actually on the Republic side of the Green Line, something the website failed to mention.  Vehicles like ours that were rented in the North are not allowed to cross into the South.  So after forfeiting our resevation fee we were lucky to stumble upon the Euro Hotel in Famagusta where we can wait out the weather.   A nasty storm with high winds and heavy rain moved into the Eastern Med last night so we couldn’t do much sightseeing anyway.

mo

   The Basilica of Campanopetra, Salamis

The ancient city of Salamis is not a world heritage site — and that is a shame.  The only reason we can think of for this omission is that it is in the North.  Only Turkey recognizes North Cyprus, the Turkish Republic of Cyprus, as a nation, so it isn’t a member of the UN and doesn’t get a UNESCO pick.  Cyprus, on the other hand, would be reluctant to nominate a site that is in the North for inclusion.  So everyone loses.

do     co

   Connie and friend                             Comin' through

Salamis was founded around the time of the Trojan Wars if the stories and mythology can be believed.  It was later ruled by the Persians, Alexander the Great and the Ptolmeys but the ruins we visited today are unmistakably Roman.  Wherever they roamed (Rome’d?) — be it Turkey or England, Tunisia or Egypt — the Romans brought along their distinctive city plans and architecture and Salamis is no exception.  Most impressive is the flower-filled gymnasium with hot and cold baths, changing rooms and a score of marble columns, still standing in defiance of the ravages of time.  While the German tour bus crowds climbed all over the theater we splashed farther afield, searching out the remains of villas, aqueducts, olive oil mills, reservoirs and early Christian churches scattered among fields of yellow flowers and the first poppies of the season.  

mi     po

   Roman olive oil mill                           First poppy of the season

 

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