Cascadia Druids: White Mountain Druid Sanctuary Blog

White Mountain Druid Sanctuary (WMDS) is a Druid inspired Pagan site in Trout Lake, Washington. This blog describes the planning and creation of the Stone Circle, Shrines and physical surroundings that are being built there.

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Kourion (Cyprus)

April 14, 2019

The ancient town of Kourion

The original foundation of the town was by the Mycenaeans back in the Bronze Age, but by the Iron Age the town was moved from its inland location to the top of a ridge overlooking the sea and harbor. During its lifetime, Kourion became one of the largest and most powerful of the Archaic city states and is currently one of the largest and impressive sets of ruins on the island.


The Forum as seen from the Basilica


Another view of the Forum. On the left side is a portico with spaces for the shops in the back.

Most of the ruins visible now are from the 4th century BCE through the 7th century CE and mark the transition from Pagan Kourion to its Christian successor.

A large Christian Basilica was built by the forum and it contains an interesting baptistry, cut in the shape of a cross.



The remains of the basilica


A polygonal fountain at the entrance to the Baptistry.

There are also a large set of baths, with incredibly preserved hypocaust systems (I had no idea they were that deep!) and a large Nymphaeum built to celebrate the building of a new aquaduct, which finally solved the town's water problems.


The Cauldarium (hot room) - part of the Baths. In the back you can see just how deep the underfloor area was to carry the heat and smoke from fires outside to heat the floors and walls.



The Tepidarium of the Baths (the warm room).


The Nymphaeum. This shrine to the Water Nymphs would have had numerous fountains and pools to celebrate the arrival of the aquaduct to the town. In later times, a Christian chapel was inserted into it.


The Nymphaeum up close. You can see the inserted chapel wall on the right which blocks the right-hand arched opening.

Some of the houses have some lovely mosaics. The so-called House of Achilles has a scene from the Illiad, where his mother, Thetis, tries to keep him out of the Trojan War by dressing him as a girl, and the House of the Gladiators, which may have been a training place, and which has good mosaics of gladiators.


House of Achilles. Here Achilles is dressed like a girl, but gives himself away when he chooses to play with the shield and spear.


House of the Gladiators. Here the referee, Darious, stands between two fighters.

The largest house in the town, by far, is the House of Eustolios, who was a wealthy man who paid to rebuild the baths after the great earthquake of 365 CE. His house had private baths and a number of interesting mosaics, including one detailing his gift to the city, and how his house would not be protected by Christ.


House of Eustolios. The woman in the mosaic is holding a symbol of the Roman Foot measurement.



House of Eustolios. This inscription tells of how he paid to rebuild the baths of the town.

There are also a number of houses in the town that were destroyed by the earthquake and never rebuilt. One, called the Earthquake House, had a number of people inside when it was destroyed. Archaeologists found a feeding trough with a mule's skeleton still chained to it, and the body of a young girl who was apparently trying to free it when the house collapsed. There was also found a young couple and their child in another room.


The Earthquake House. The girl and mule were found just to the left of this photo.

While the town was partially rebuilt after the earthquake, the Arab raids on the town in the mid 7th century CE (which included the destruction of the aquaduct) forced the Bishop to move his church and administration to the location where the original Mycenaean town had been, and Kourion was abandoned soon thereafter.


The pyramidal structure. This is the base of an old Archaic city wall.

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We are Cascadia Grove of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF). Our local Grove serves the Puget Sound area. We meet 8 times a year to celebrate the equinoxes, solstices and the cross quarter days (including Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain). We also support the planning and building of White Mountain Druid Sanctuary in Trout Lake WA.


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