A sprawling archeological site spread along the southwestern coast of Cyprus, the Tombs of the Kings are one of the principal attractions of the Paphos UNESCO World Heritage site. A series of eight excavated tombs make up the site, which dates back to the 3rd century BC, and around 100 Ptolemaic aristocrats are estimated to have been buried there, along with a substantial trove of jewels and personal effects, long since pillaged by grave robbers.
Despite their name, the Tombs of the Kings boast no royal connections, instead earning their moniker thanks to their grand appearance, carved into the natural rock and adorned with elaborate frescos and fluted Doric Pillars. Today, the well-preserved necropolis remains impressive, with steps leading down into the sunken graves and the underground chambers pocked with niches, although only minimal traces of the original stuccos and colorful frescos remain. Exploring the numbered tombs also hints at the later use of the site, with one of the tombs converted into a chapel during early Christian occupation and evidence of pottery work indicating that the catacombs were later used as dwellings or workplaces during the Middle Ages.