Map of Apollonia.
|1. Entry Canal to West Port||5.Light House||9. Central Basilica|
|2. Entry Canal to East Port||6. West Port||10. Roman Baths|
|3. Hammam Island (Central)||7.West Basilica||11. Dux's Palace|
|4. Sharkea Island (East)||8.Triconch Cemetery||12. Sanctury of Callicrateia|
Being only about 20 km north of Cyrene, Apollonia was established in the 7th century BC to serve as a seaport for the city of Cyrene. Its importance and success grew with time where it became more influential than Cyrene itself. It was named after the Greek Sun-god Apollo and hence Apollonia, the Sun City, may have been built in his honour by the Greek colonists, to secure the protection of the god to safeguard the ships laden with goods. This may also explain the etymology of the present form of the name, namely Sousa, which some sources say comes from Sozousa (The Savior) and therefore Susa or Sousa may well have been the Byzantine replacement of the earlier pagan Apollonia.
The city offers a number of great sites to see, like its partially submerged harbour, the Acropolis, the temples of Zeus and Apollo, the rock graves of Necropolis, the Byzantine churches, the Agora, and the remains of a sunken or immersed Greek town (see map above).
The area around Apollonia is also the home of lush green groves, several attractive
beaches, like those between al-Hena and Ras-al-Hamama, the biggest cistern in
Africa, and the nearby Qaser Libya, the home of the Byzantine basilicas.