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

Adonis Baths waterfalls can be found in Kili, at Paphos and it is considered as one of the most gorgeous and exceptional areas in Cyprus. Swimming in the baths, below the waterfall is supposed to preserve the woman's youth and strengthen the men. Moreover, outside the baths you will find a statue of Adonis and Aphrodite. There is also a message that says, "ladies infertile who wish to become pregnant touch Adonis's appendage and...
The Monastery of Priests or Agia Moni as it is well known as, is located in the Paphos district between the village Statos and the Chrysorogiatissa Monastery. It is built at a beautiful and quiet location away from the noisy everyday life. It is surrounded by a green environment, and the monks find peace there which is a necessity for praying and thinking. The Agia Moni Monastery is considered to be one of the most ancient monasteries in Cyprus...
Agia Paraskevi church is located in the city of Geroskipou in Paphos. The Byzantine church of Agia Paraskevi is worldwide recognised as an extremely significant example of Byzantine architecture, dating back to the 9th century A.D. It has been argued that the church stands on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicate to the goddess Aphrodite, however this implication has not been verified.According to Geroskipou traditions, during the ancient...
Agia Solomoni Church is situated just 1 k.m. away from Kato Paphos port and was originally a Christian catacomb and is home to 12th century frescoes. At the entrance of the underground catacombs stands a large pistachio tree that is believed to be sacred. It is believed that if you tie a piece of cloth to one of its branches with honest intentions then you will be cured of your ailments.In ancient times the catacombs were carved in the Fabrica...
To the east of the village of Pomos in the Paphos district   is the chapel of Agia Thekla. It is a simple temple with a semi curved roof covered with tiles. The chapel which exists today is built on older abandoned church. The construction of the church was made due to a donation by Mr. Eftihios Stylianou. The construction work took place between the years 1982 and 1983. The chapel was built by donations from Mr. Matheos Giannii and...
The chapel of Agia Varvara is located at the Argaka village in the Paphos district. It used to operate as a monastery however we do not know exactly when it was built apart from the fact that it operated during the 18th during until 1821. The monastery belonged to the Patriarchy of Jerusalem and it accommodated one priest and two deacons. Today there is nothing saved, apart from the chapel of Agia Varvara. It is said that the chapel was burnt...
North of the Kouklia village at a distance of 1-2 kilometres from the village is the chapel of the Agioi Pente Martyres (Five Holly Witnesses). They are Mardarios , Orestis , Avxendios , Evgenios and Evstratios. The Five Holly Witnesses were from Kapadokia who passed from Cyprus , and were tortured for Christianity. Orestis and Evstratios survived the torture while the other three died. Evstratios was very educated, something which could be...
The church of Agios Andronikos is located in Polis – Chrysochous and the Paphos district. It is a one room church with an arch and is a temple of small dimensions. It can be dated back to the 16th century as it decorated with very important iconographies which belong to the Venetian period (1489-1570).The temple of Agios Andronikos was transformed into a mosque during the Turkish occupation, therefore an extra room was added to the north...
In the centre of the village of Pomos is the church of Agio Evpsihios. According to the Evangelist Mathew, Agios Evpsihios lived and dies during the years of Julian the Offender. The church was constructed during the 20th century. With the passing of time, as the village population was increasing the church urgently need to be extended. Therefore during the middle of the 20th century, the church was extended twice. The shape of the church today...

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