Palace of Vouni
This 137-room palace was built on a hilltop, 250m above current sea-level, by the Phoenician pro-Persian king of the neighbouring city Marion to watch over the pro-Greek city of Soli, following an unsuccessful revolt of the latter against the Persians in 498 BC. It was the headquarters of a garrison and consisted of state apartments, large storerooms and bathrooms. In 449 BC when the Persians were defeated and the Greek rule was established, the ruler of Marion was replaced by a pro-Greek prince and alterations were made, including a second storey with walls made from mud bricks. The palace stood for over 70 years but was destroyed by the people of Soli in 380 B.C., and was never rebuilt.

The entrance of the original palace led to state apartments with a main room, connecting rooms and from here, a broad stairway of seven steps led to columned court surrounded with rooms on three sides. Water to almost all the main rooms was supplied from the underground cisterns cut into the living rock of the mountain, where the winter rain was collected. The palace also housed storerooms and bathrooms – and in some of the storerooms, you can see the holes for amphoras.

Excavations of the palace have revealed what is described as ‘the Vouni Treasures’, which include earthenware jugs blackened by the fire that destroyed the palace, gold and silver bracelets, engraved silver cups, as well as hundreds of coins with ancient seals. Also, at the top of the hill on which the palace was built, towards the south, are the remains of a temple built for Athena in the third quarter of the 5th century BC.