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Paphos

On the Map

Historical Paphos: From mythical Venus to today ...

The Province of Paphos, is one of the six districts of Cyprus, and is one of the most important historical and cultural destinations in Cyprus. The influence that the island has acquired since the Bronze Age, from Roman times, raids by Arabs, Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman occupation is apparent from the great monuments and archaeological  sites, which have survived and are open to visitors to the region. A visit to Paphos will take you back through the turbulent history of Cyprus and will enchant you with its rare beauty.

Palaepaphos; from the sanctuary of Aphrodite to the Ottoman Empire. 

Virgin Mary Catholic Church - Kouklia - PaphosThe town of Paleipaphos, stood near the mouth of the river Diarizos, where today we find the village Kouklia. The area has a rich historical tradition; inhabitants once worshipped the goddess of fertility, and subsequently Venus who was worshipped in Cyprus as early as 3500 B.C, while the famous Temple of Aphrodite at Palaepaphos dates from 1200 BC. Apart from the unique Temple of Aphrodite, Palaepaphos is known for its plethora of monuments to visit which show the rich cultural heritage of the region. From the Church of the Panagia Catholiki located near the shrine, and built as early as the 12th century, to the Residence of Leda, a Roman House of the 2nd century A D.  Parts of the fortifications of Palaepaphos, built from the 8th century BC until the 3rd still remain,  the most important being the North East Gate on the Hill of Markellos, but also part of the enclosure and the Palace in  Aptoulach Chatzi , a few metres from  the gate.

The 'legacy ' of New Paphos to archaeologyMosaic depicting the myth of Zeus, who transformed into Swan trying to fall in the arms of the beautiful Leda

Paphos archaeological museum houses artifacts from the region of Paphos, from as early as the Neolithic age.  At the archaeological site you will encounter two luxury buildings; thehouses of Dionysus and Orpheus and the Villa of the Century, important for their complex mosaic floors.  Then, you will head to the Roman Forum, where  the foundations, but also some buildings such as the Conservatory and the Asclepion remain. From the Byzantine Era, the Basilica of Chrysopolitissa is preserved, one of the first and largest basilicas built on the island. Finally, you can see a surviving part of the Byzantine fortress of Forty Columns, which took over the protection of the harbour and town from raids by Arabs. Your visit to the archaeological site will take you back in time. Moreover, it is no coincidence that the entire site has been included on the World Heritage list of UNESCO.

Agia Paraskevi of Geroskipou

Church of Agia Paraskevi In the area of Geroskipou, near the town of Paphos, we find the Church of Agia Paraskevi. It is considered to be an original creation of the Byzantine architecture of Cyprus and is famous for the frescoes that adorn it, some of which date back to the 9th century and are of the oldest on the island.

Petra tou romiou, (Aphrodite’s Rock) the "source" of beautyAphrodite s Rock

"Petra tou romiou" refers both to the idyllic coastal village in Paphos district, which according to legend is the birthplace of Aphrodite of Cyprus, and a rock that emerges from the sea  between Cyprus and Turkey. A designated protected area by Natura 2000, an award-winning Beach, but also an important piece of mythology, Aphrodite’s Rock is worth a visit.

The Castle-keeper of the harbour

Paphos Castle The castle of Paphos is located in the city’s harbour and its primary purpose was to protect it. Built in the Byzantine era, it was destroyed and repaired twice, once by Venetians and once by Ottomans, to take its current form. A listed building and landmark of the city of Paphos, the Castle hosts a series of cultural events every year.

BeachesThe Coral Bay

 The natural beauty of Paphos is evident in its two most famous beaches: Coral Bay (Coral Bay) and the Blue Lagoon beach. The exact opposite of each other, the first organized, with easy access and plenty of people, the second inaccessible and isolated, they share one common element:  unparalleled natural beauty and crystal clear waters.

Gastronomy

Traditional "Paphos" pitta with kebabs The gastronomy of Paphos keeps alive the Cypriot tradition that combines tastes and cultures with enchanting results: Try traditional ' Paphos ' pitta with kebabs, stuffed vine leaves, "Resi"-Pilaf with lamb and durum wheat and "Tsamarella"-salted, sun-dried goat’s meat.

 

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