PALACE

VOUNI

N° 75 a
Town / Village : Vouni

District : Morphou

 

DESCRIPTION :

The Palace of Vouni is built at the top of a commanding hill situated to the west of the ancient city of Soloi. The Palace’s construction began at around 500 BC. and it was destroyed by a fire in the beginning of the 4th century BC. and was not rebuilt.

The Palace had four successive phases .

The Palace’s first phase is characterized by  strong eastern features such as the tripartite division of the official buildings. This is probably due to the historical events at the time since in 499 BC. the kingdom of Soloi took part in a revolt against the Persians rulers. Following a five month siege, the Persians managed to control the revolt and it is then that the neighbouring kingdom of Marion built the Palace  in order to control the surrounding area.

 During the second phase new rooms were added but its initial character remained the same.

 During the third phase the palace adopted its final character which differs from that of the first phase. In 449 BC. the Athenian general Kimon captured Marion, dethroned its pro-Persian king and enthroned a philhellene king. During the same period the king of Soloi was possibly dethroned since the Palace’s eastern architectural features were at that point replaced with ones that originated in the Greek world. The tripartite division was thus altered and the Palace’s central area was formed in such a way that it resembled a megaron with Mycenaean characteristics.

 Although some changes occured during the fourth phase of the building’s renovation, the previous plan was not altered.

Both the palace and the smaller buildings around it (mainly temples) were surrounded by a wall creating the impression of a fort. The Palace’s original entrance was in the southwest. At a later stage however, the entrance was sealed and transferred to the northeast. An impressive staircase led to a rectangular courtyard in front of the official quarters. Three of the courtyard’s sides were roofed to form a peristyle portico and a cistern occupied a large area in the courtyard. The Palace’s private rooms were built around the courtyard and in the southeastern corner of the rooms there existed three rooms that functioned as baths.

The Palace’s east part consisted of a large open space and two rows of storerooms. A well-preserved cistern with a large mouth exists towards the sea. Cisterns were vital for the Palace’s survival since Vouni had no natural water sources. The open space led to a kitchen complex in the southwest. On the storeroom floors one can still notice the rows of conical-shaped cavities that used to support pointed-based storage vessels.

Period : 5th century BC.

 

OUTSTANDING VALUE :

 

MAPS / LINKS

 

DOCUMENTS / BIBLIOGRAPHY :

The famous Vouni treasure (gold and silver jewellery and coins) was found in the kitchen yard area, under a wooden staircase that led to the Palace’s second floor.

  

 

 

PHOTOS / VIDEOS :

 

 

NEWS / THREATS  

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