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Kingdom of Soli
Soli is an ancient city located south-west of Guzelyurt and on the coast of Morphou. The city dates back to about 6th Century BC. Soli’s entire urban centre was designed by Solon, after whom the name is. Soli was one of the 10 city kingdoms in which Cyprus was divided at the time.

What remains of Soli today is mainly from the Roman period, most remarkably is the mosaic floor of the Basilica with its wealth of birds, animals and geometric designs and a picture of a swan. The Basilica was constructed in the second half of the 4th century, and it was one of the first churches to be built on the island. Soli, like many other big cities was destroyed by the Arab raids in the 7th century. The church has three gates; its courtyard has a fountain and it is ringed with columns. The church can be entered through three gates. Inside, there are two rows of 12 columns. Soli is noted as the place St. Mark was baptized by St. Auxibius in the Christian world. The Roman Theatre of Soli was built on the site of a Greek theatre between the 2nd and 3rd Century AD. It is on the skirt of a hill facing the sea. The auditorium was carved into the rocky part of the hill. This section and the orchestra in the middle are separated with a low, limestone wall and access to the orchestra and to the auditorium was via aisles at the sides. The original capacity of the theatre was 4000; the stage building has two storeys. This section is decorated with marble and statues. A temple dedicated to Aphrodite has been discovered on a hill to the west of the theatre.
Vouni Palace
The Vouni Palace was constructed in the 5th century BC by Doxandros the Phoenician King of the neighbouring city Marion, who was sympathizing with the Persians to keep the settlements supporting the Greeks (Soli) under control. The palace with 137 rooms was built on a hilltop overlooking the sea. The rooms include the administrative sections, bedrooms, storerooms, offices and bath rooms.

When the Persian rule in the region was replaced by the Greek rule in 449 BC the palace lost its function, as the ruler of Marion was replaced. The palace stood erect for seventy years, but was destroyed in a fire by the people of Soli in 380 BC and was never reconstructed. Cisterns carved out of the rocks were used to meet the demand for water. In some of the storerooms, holes for amphorae can be noticed. The baths are old examples of hot-baths. Excavations have brought to light earthenware jugs blackened by the fire that destroyed the palace containing what has been described as ‘the Vouni treasure’. The treasure includes gold and silver bracelets, ornamented silver cups, and hundreds of coins with the Marion, Kition, Lapithos and Paphos seals. The archaeologists have come across signs of settlements belonging to the pre-Neolithic age on the island of Petra tou Limniti visible from Vouni. To the south of the palace are the remains of the Temple of Athena built towards the end of the 5th century B.C. The temple has two courtyards and an enclosed sacred ground. The holes in which the statues were placed are visible. The different sections of the Vouni remains are: the entrance, the residential rooms, the courtyard with columns, the kitchen courtyard, the cistern, granaries, baths, living rooms and offices.


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