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Pafos

Pafos

The entire town of Pafos is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Pafos was the capital of Cyprus for a long period of time in antiquity.  Today it is a charming town in the west of Cyprus.  Numerous archaeological sites can be seen from the centre of the modern town down to its picturesque harbour, as well as all along the coast.  It is out of the seas of Pafos that Aphrodite, Greek Olympian goddess of Love and Beauty is said to have risen, and was in Pafos that the worship of the goddess flourished.  The charm of the goddess can still be felt throughout the area. The Pafos region is surrounded by a beautiful coastline.  Inland and in the mountainous regions lay superb monasteries and tranquil villages, where old traditions and customs have been kept alive for years.

 

PLACES OF INTEREST

Pafos Castle

Pafos Castle

The Pafos castle was originally a Byzantine fort built to protect the harbor. It was rebuilt by the Lusignans in the 13th century, dismantled by the Venetians in 1570 during the Ottoman invasion and rebuilt by the Ottomans after they captured the island in the 16th century. During its long history, the Pafos Castle was used, in addition to protection, as prison cells, or even as a storage area for salt when the island was a British colony. Since 1935 it was declared as an ancient monument and today it is considered the landmark of the Pafos region. On the square just in front of the castle a lot of cultural events take place, the most distinguished of which is the “Pafos Aphrodite Festival” which is held every year in the beginning of September and hosts opera productions by acknowledged opera theatres from abroad. The building of the castle acts as part of the sets as the whole square is transformed into a big open-air stage attracting thousands of opera lovers to attend this enchanting Festival

MOSAICS

MOSAICS

House of Dionysos, House of Theseus, House of Aion, House of Orpheus. The mosaic floors of these House, date from the 2nd to the 5th century AD. The first house was discovered accidentally by a farmer in 1962. the villas belonged to noblemen and the mosaics are considered among the finest in the Eastem Mediterranean. They depict scenes from Greek mythology and are considered masterpieces of mosaic art. Some of the mosaics at the House of Dionysos depict the god of wine, while that of Theseus depicts the classical Greek mythology hero brandishing a club against the Minotaur. The mosaics are a stop on the Aphrodite Cultural Route.

Pafos Odeon

Pafos Odeon

The Pafos Odeon is a small 2nd century AD Odeon, build entirely of well-hewn limestone blocks. It is now used regularly for musical and theatrical performances. Nearby are the remains of the ancient city walls, the Asklepieion, a building dedicated to Asklepios, god of medicine, and the Roman Agora.

Tombs Of the Kings

Tombs Of the Kings

The “Tombs of the Kings” are one of the major archaeological at-tractions of Pafos. These monumental underground tombs carved out of solid rock date back to the 3rd century BC and some are decorated with Doric pillars. High ranking officials rather than Kings were buried here, but the magnificence of the tombs gave the locality its grand name.

Source: Cyprus 10 000 years of history and civilization.
Cyprus Tourism Organization (Nicosia: 09/2009)