Built into the folds of the hills, sits the graceful ancient city of Cyrene. The area is peaceful and inspiring with its pine trees and views of the Mediterranean. It was the first Greek overseas colony and is a place of great beauty. Its is vast. Tens of thousands of people lived here. Founded in 631BC Cyrene is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are many impressive remains. Outstanding among these is the imposing 5th century BC Temple of Zeus, with its huge golden columns. It is larger than the Parthenon in Athens and the Temple of Zeus in Olympia.
The Sanctuary of Apollo has a rich collection of public buildings. Among them is the 6th century BC Temple of Apollo with an enormous altar covered in marble slabs. The Northern Necropolis is an extensive eerie area with some 2000 tombs cut into the rock face. There is the impressive Roman house of Jason Magnus and the Greek Temple of Agora with some fine mosaic floors. Cyrene was one of the greatest intellectual and artistic centres of the Greek world. It is easy to understand when you visit this great city why, in the 4th century BC, Cyrene was considered the unrivaled city of the Greek world.