Paphos

Paphos is a town located at the southwest part of Cyprus. It was once the capital city of the country and one of the most important kingdoms on the island. Along with others, it was also a popular worshipping centre of the goddess Aphrodite.

The town is divided into two levels: Paphos which is also known as Ktima which is where the shops and other facilities are, are Kato Paphos which is located towards the sea and is mainly a tourist area. The whole archaeological area of Paphos has been under the protection of UNESCO since 1980.  

History

The name of the town is connected with the goddess Aphrodite, as Paphos was the name of Aphrodite and Pygmalion’s mythological daughter. According to Loutatious, Paphos the son of Kyniras as the founder of Paphos. However Isadore believed that Paphos was built by Paphos the son of Tyfonos. Also Pausanias and Omyros mention the founder of Paphos as Agapynora, the King of Tegea who founded Palepapho on his way back from the Trojan War.

It is well known that the Cypriot Kingdoms were destroyed during the 4th century from Ptolemeo A’, one of the descendants of Alexander the Great. A little while before the last prince of Paphos, Nikoklis has moved the centre of the kingdom to the west which was called Nea Paphos which is today’s Kato Paphos. New Paphos had met glorious days during the Hellenistic years as the centre of the governors in Cyprus which has also joined the kingdom of the Ptolemaic, Greek Kings of Egypt.

During the Hellenistic years, Paphos became the capital of Cyprus. When Cyprus was taken over by the Romans in 58 B.C it remains the centre of the Roman governors of the island. Temples, mansions, a theatre and odium and other impressive buildings were built as well as powerful walls around. The excellent and plentiful mosaic floors of Paphos which ae still being discovered prove the flourishment of the town which also suffered though many powerful earthquakes.

In 45 A.D the Apostles Varnavas, Paul and Markos arrived in Paphos during the first apostle tour in Cyprus. Even though it is said that the Apostle Paul received thirty nine whip lashes in Paphos, he had spread Christianity towards the Roman governor Sergio Paul who accepted the new religion. Therefore Cyprus became the first country in the world which was governed by a Christian.

During the byzantine years Paphos lost to Salamina which was made the capital. The earthquakes and the Arab raids during the 7th and 10th centuries drove the town to its decline. From the medieval years, the town began to be known with the name Ktima as it was a royal feud. It was the west port of Cyprus as well as the centre point of the Episcope. The town met its worst decline during the ruling of the Turks (1570-1878). During the British rule, many projects were made where many refugees had moved due to the Turkish invasion. Today it is an iconic town as well as modern which has nothing to be jealous from other towns. It has also be elected to be the Capital of Europe for 2017.

Civilisation

The large cultural heritage which was left to Paphos during the 400 years of its existence, has made Paphos a large open museum. For this reason, UNESCO added the whole town to the catalogue of world cultural heritage. A real treasure is the House of Dionysos, the House of Eonos and the House of Thiseos in which mosaic floors were discovered in Kato Paphos.  These have been preserved underground for 16 centuries and their discovery was made after many years of excavating.

In the same area, are the Tombs of the Kings which is believed to be a burial ground for the rich during the Roman era. The tombs are dated to be of the 4th century. Also there is the Stili tou Apostolou Pavlou (Column of Apostle Paul) on which he was whipped thirty nine times as a punishment for bringing bad demons to the area. In the same area there are the catacombs of Agia Solomoni and Agiou Lambrianou where the first religious ceremonies of the Christians took place. In the catacombs of Agia Solomoni there are also iconographies which are saved.

In the area of the mosaics there are also three ancient theatres from which the two are saved. One of them is the most well known as the Ancient Odium of Paphos. It is a roman odium which is used for performances today. Near the odium there are also parts of the ancient walls of Paphos, ruins of the ancient Roman market and the praying area. More modern monuments such as the castle , which is from the Louizian era and is the most well-known monument in Paphos is located at the port which was built for protection by the Byzantine and later on by the Louizians during the 13th century.

All of the above was placed in an archaeological park which covers the area from the port of the town until the Tombs of the Kings and is accessible only by pedestrians. Even today many universities abroad arrive at the area in order to do excavations as only a small part of it has been discovered. In 2017 it was voted as cultural capital of Europe due to its large cultural heritage.

Economy

The economy of Paphos largely depends on its advanced tourist industry. Every year thousands of tourists visit the town.

Climate

The climate of Cyprus makes it very popular during the summer months. The temperature is about 30-35 degrees Celsius. However due to its mild winter, many tourists also arrive during the winter months and deal with walking or bike riding.

Paphos photos

Paphos Cyprus CastlePaphos Adonis BathsPaphos Peyia village

Attractions in Paphos and places to see (map)

Displaying 68 attractions in Paphos.

Attractions in Paphos and places to see

The chapel of Prophet Elias is located on a hill of the village of Pomos in the Paphos district. Architecturally is belongs to the type of one room churches with a semi curved roof covered with tiles. The chapel was renovated at the end of the 20th century. Every year on the 20th of July which is the day the Saint is celebrated there are a large festival in the village. It must be mentioned that even though the village is located it the Pomos...
The Chapel of Saint George is about three or four kilometres in a forest southeast of the community of Argaka in Paphos. It is said that where the chapel is located was the old village called Eso Makounda. With the passing of time however the chapel was destroyed. It was rebuilt in the same place in 1989 with the help of the villagers. It is built with bricks and whitewashed. It can accommodate about twenty people in it. Its interior does not...
Saranda kolones are ruins of an ancient castle located to the north of Paphos harbour and when translated into English means Forty columns.The name, saranda kolones comes from the fact that the original castle was built on the base of 40 granite columns. The columns are said to be constructed by the Lusignans in 13th century on the previous site of the Byzantine castle.The castle itself is said to be constructed in 7th century to protect...
At the seafront of Paphos, in the Pegia area there is a unique location of excellent beauty, geological and biological interest. The area is called kantarkastoi and is characterised by the existence of coastal formations, caves, stone lodges and engulfment. These formations are priceless as it takes thousands of years in order for them to be created. In particular, the corrosive action of the sea has managed to penetrate between the rocks with...
The Secret Valley Golf Club is located 18 kilometres from Paphos and it is 49kilometres from Limassol, near Petra tou Romiou. It is a course with 18 holes. The gold course was named Secret Valley as it is hidden in a wonderful valley east of Paphos, near the mythical birth place of the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite. It is located in between hills of unique natural beauty, surrounded by old trees and impressive rocks. The golf club has a length...
The Holly Temple of Aphrodite is located at the Kouklia village, 14 kilometres east of Paphos, on the side of the Limassol – Paphos highway. Palepaphos which means old Paphos was one of the most honoured praying centres of the Greek world, and was once a city-kingdom of Cyprus. This is where the famous temple of Aphrodite was and its ruins are dated from the 12th century B.C. The glorious period of the temple lasted until the 3rd-4th...
The temple of Aphrodite was officially established by its cult by constructing a hilltop temple on the important pilgrimage site of Palea Paphos (Palaipaphos). Although erected in 1500 BC, idols and coins related to Aphrodite dating back to 3800 BC have been found at the site. The temple stood on a knoll about 2 kms inland around which soon the town of Palea Paphos started forming. The Cyprus Exploration Fund first excavated the sanctuary in...
Tilliria peninsula is a mountainous peninsula located at the northwest part of the island between the Chrysochous Bay and Morphou Bay. It has a length of 6 kilometres and width of 30 kilometres which run from the Paphos and the Nicosia districts. From 1974 part of the village has been under the occupation of the Turkish army. In the Tilliria area there is the village of Kokkinon which is the only occupied part of Cyprus which is surrounded by...
Tombs of the Kings (Τάφοι των Βασιλέων) is basically a large necropolis located about two kilometres North West of the Paphos harbour and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the name suggests no kings have actually been buried here but actually it’s the resting place of 100 Ptolemaic aristocrats who died in Paphos between 3 B.C. and 3 A.D.A lot of the tombs feature Doric columns and frescoed walls. In addition, there are still...

Pages