Feature - A historic setting for a historic moment
01.07.2012, 10:48 (CET)
Shakespearean plays, classical music concerts and ancient Greek drama; the ancient Amphitheatre of Curium has long been regarded as the pinnacle of venues when it comes to artistic performances in Cyprus. It is no surprise therefore that the amphitheatre, built on a hill overlooking the sea, was chosen as the ideal setting for the start of Cyprus’ greatest moment in its European history, the assumption of the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU.

On Thursday, July 5, all eyes will be on Curium as it welcomes distinguished European guests for the inaugural ceremony of the Cyprus EU Presidency.

In the beginning of the ceremony, the outgoing president of the Council of the EU and current Prime Minister of Denmark, Mrs. Helle Thorning-Schmidt will give an overview of the Danish EU Presidency and will subsequently hand over the EU Presidency reins to the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Demetris Christofias.

Notable guests include the President of the European Council, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Commission, Mr. José Manuel Barroso and the Vice President of the European Parliament, Mrs. Anni Podimata, who will attend on behalf of the President of the European Parliament Mr. Martin Schulz.

The audience will number just over 500 and will include ministers from the presidency trio partners Poland and Denmark, the College of Commissioners and local dignitaries.

While the ceremony and its cultural programme have remained closely guarded secrets from the public, the event will be broadcast live on television. The live transmission of the ceremony will be made by the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC), who is the Host Broadcaster of the Cyprus EU Presidency.

The event will also be transmitted live on this website.

A historical and cultural landmark

The Curium Amphitheatre constitutes the stand-out attraction of an area steeped in history. Standing impressively atop a hill overlooking the sea, the venue offers its guests a captivating view to accompany its enchanting atmosphere.

Believed to have been founded by the Achaeans of Argos from Peloponnesus in the 13th century B.C., the settlements around Curium are regarded as one of the most important archaeological sites in Cyprus. Located on a hill, some four kilometres southwest from the village of Episkopi in the Lemesos (Limassol) District, the site includes ancient remains of an Agora, Baths, a Stadium and a Basilica among many others. Excavations carried out throughout the last century unearthed remains relating to classical Greek, Roman and Early Christian culture.

The most ancient remains of the old city-kingdom date back to the Middle and Late Bronze Age, while the earliest evidence of settlement dates to the Neolithic period (4500-3900 B.C.).  A museum, with extensive information on all of the archaeological findings operates daily.

The Amphitheatre is situated on the southern edge of the hill. It was initially constructed in the 2nd century B.C., and took its current form in the 2nd century A.C. when it was expanded. The bleachers; a seating area that accommodates around 3,500 spectators was located in the auditorium of the theatre.

Currently the foundations of the scene are the only thing remaining in their original form. In recent years, the Amphitheatre has hosted an array of important cultural events, such as the annual Shakespeare at Curium, which has taken place each June for more than 60 years, as well as the International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama.




Ancient Curium Amphitheatre, Lemesos (Limassol) District

Lemesos (Limassol) District

Coordinates34.664356 32.887951