Crin Raab

Crin Raab

Modified & Updated: 01 Feb 2024


Idalion, also known as Idalium, is an ancient city located in modern-day Cyprus. This picturesque city is steeped in history and bears witness to the rich cultural heritage of the Mediterranean region. From its archaeological sites to its pristine beaches, Idalion offers visitors a unique glimpse into the past while providing ample opportunities for relaxation and exploration.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Idalion and uncover 12 captivating facts about this remarkable landmark. Join us as we journey through time and learn about the archaeological wonders, historical significance, and natural beauty that make Idalion a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and avid travelers alike.

Table of Contents

Idalion dates back to 1200 BC.

Idalion, located in present-day Cyprus, is an ancient city that has a history dating back to 1200 BC. This makes it one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world.

It was an important center of worship.

Idalion was renowned for its sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite. People from all over the region would visit Idalion to pay homage to the goddess of love and beauty.

The city flourished during the Hellenistic period.

During the Hellenistic period, Idalion experienced a golden age of prosperity and cultural growth. It became a major center for trade and attracted merchants from various regions.

Idalion was a major copper producer.

The city’s proximity to copper mines played a vital role in its economic success. Idalion was one of the leading copper producers in the ancient world, exporting the metal to other civilizations.

The Kingdom of Idalion was conquered by Alexander the Great.

In 333 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the Kingdom of Idalion as part of his campaign to expand his empire. This marked the end of the city’s independence and the beginning of its incorporation into the Greek empire.

Idalion has a rich archaeological heritage.

The ancient city of Idalion is a treasure trove for archaeologists, with numerous artifacts and structures discovered over the years. Excavations have revealed temples, tombs, and various artifacts that shed light on the city’s past.

The Idalion Lion is a famous archaeological find.

One of the most notable discoveries in Idalion is the Idalion Lion. This limestone sculpture, dating back to the 5th century BC, depicts a lioness attacking a bull and is now housed in the British Museum.

Idalion was an important religious and cultural center.

Idalion was not only a hub for commerce but also a center for religious and cultural activities. It hosted festivals, theatrical performances, and religious ceremonies that attracted pilgrims and visitors from afar.

The city was eventually abandoned.

Over time, the fortunes of Idalion declined, and the city was gradually abandoned. With the decline of copper mining in the area and changes in trade routes, Idalion lost its significance and fell into obscurity.

Excavations continue to uncover new insights.

Archaeologists continue to excavate Idalion, unearthing new discoveries and gaining a deeper understanding of the city’s history. These ongoing excavations provide valuable insights into the ancient civilization that once thrived in Idalion.

Idalion is a UNESCO World Heritage Site candidate.

Idalion’s rich archaeological and historical significance has led to its consideration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If granted the status, it would join the ranks of other renowned cultural and historical sites around the world.

Idalion offers a glimpse into ancient Cypriot life.

Exploring Idalion allows visitors to step back in time and experience the daily life, traditions, and architecture of ancient Cypriot civilization. It is a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts and those interested in uncovering the secrets of the past.


Idalion is a fascinating ancient city that is rich in history and culture. From its origins as a Bronze Age settlement to its prominence as a major city-state during the Iron Age, Idalion has left behind a wealth of captivating facts for us to discover. Its strategic location, impressive architecture, and intriguing archaeological finds have made it a significant site for researchers and history enthusiasts alike.

Exploring the twelve captivating facts about Idalion has provided us with a glimpse into the city’s past. From its dedicated worship of the goddess Aphrodite to its role as a center for copper mining and trade, Idalion has left an indelible mark on Cyprus’s history.

As we uncover more about the ancient city of Idalion, it becomes evident that there is much more to learn and uncover. The mysteries and stories that await us within its ancient walls continue to intrigue and inspire us. Idalion is a testament to the rich and complex history of Cyprus and serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving our cultural heritage.


Q: When was Idalion founded?

A: Idalion was founded during the Bronze Age, around 2000 BCE.

Q: What is Idalion known for?

A: Idalion was known for its worship of the goddess Aphrodite and its role as a center for copper mining and trade.

Q: Can visitors explore the archaeological site of Idalion?

A: Yes, visitors can explore the archaeological site of Idalion and view the remnants of the ancient city.

Q: Are there any notable archaeological finds from Idalion?

A: Yes, several notable archaeological finds have been unearthed in Idalion, including the famous “Idalion Slab” which depicts a scene from an ancient Cypriot fertility festival.

Q: What is the significance of Idalion Slab?

A: The Idalion Slab provides valuable insights into the religious practices and cultural traditions of the ancient city.

Q: Is Idalion a UNESCO World Heritage site?

A: No, Idalion is not currently a UNESCO World Heritage site, but it is a protected archaeological area.

Q: Can I visit Idalion as part of a guided tour?

A: Yes, there are guided tours available that provide in-depth information about the history and significance of Idalion.

Q: Are there any museums in Idalion?

A: Yes, there is a museum located near the archaeological site that showcases artifacts and provides further insights into the history of Idalion.

Q: Are there any ancient temples in Idalion?

A: Yes, the ancient city of Idalion was home to several temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses.

Q: Can I see the remains of the ancient city walls?

A: Yes, some sections of the ancient city walls of Idalion are still visible and can be explored.

Q: What is the best time to visit Idalion?

A: The best time to visit Idalion is during the spring or autumn when the weather is mild and comfortable for exploring the archaeological site.

Q: Can I bring my camera to capture the beauty of Idalion?

A: Yes, you are allowed to bring your camera to document and capture the beauty of Idalion during your visit.