The Odeon of Nea Paphos, Cyprus

The Odeon of Nea Paphos, Cyprus


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The Odeon of Nea Paphos, Cyprus - History


Nea Pafos

Systematic excavations at Nea Pafos started in 1962 by the Department of Antiquities during which many of the ancient town´s administrative buildings as well as private houses and ecclesiastical buildings came to light. Nea Pafos has also been the center of excavations and research by many foreign archaeological missions from Universities and Schools from all over Europe, America and Australia.
In 1980 Nea Pafos and Palaipafos were inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.


The most important monuments at the site are:

The House of Dionysos : This rich building belongs to the Greco-Roman type where the rooms are arranged around a central court, which functioned as the core of the house. It seems that the house was built at the end of the 2nd century A.D. and was destroyed and abandoned after the earthquakes of the 4th century A.D. The House of Dionysus occupies 2000sq. metres of which 556 are covered with mosaic floors decorated with mythological, vintage and hunting scenes. At the House's entrance these is a pebble mosaic representing the mythical sea-monster Scylla that belonged to a Hellenistic building found below the later Roman one.


Nea Pafos: Mosaic from the House of Dionysos


Nea Pafos: Mosaic from the House of
Orpheus


The House of Orpheus : It belongs to the type of the wealthy Greco-Roman Houses with a central court similar to the House of Dionysus. It dates to the late 2nd /early 3rd century A.D. The building´s main room, the reception hall, is decorated with a mosaic floor depicting Orpheus among the beasts. The next room´s mosaic floor bears two panels, one representing Hercules and the Lion of Nemea, and the other an Amazon with her horse.

The Villa of Theseus : The villa was built in the second half of the 2nd century A.D. over the ruins of earlier houses of the Hellenistic and early Roman periods and was in use until the 7th century AD. The villa's large size, it consisted of more than 100 rooms, suggests that the building was the residence of the governor of Cyprus. Many of the rooms and three of the four porticos around the central court are covered with mosaic floors with geometric motifs. Three rooms in the south wing of the building are embellished with mosaic floors with human representations, all belonging to different phases. The oldest one is the mosaic representing Theseus and the Minotaur, dating to the very end of the 3rd or beginning of the 4th century A.D. with obvious later restorations, probably made after the earthquakes of the middle of the 4th century. At the end of the 4th century A.D. a new mosaic depicting Poseidon and Amphitrite was added to a room, which probably served as a bedroom. Finally, at the beginning of the 5th century, a mosaic floor was laid in the reception room, of which only a part is preserved today and depicts Achilles´ first bath.


Nea Pafos: Mosaic from the Villa of Theseus


The House of Aion : Only part of the house has been excavated so far. On the floor of an apsidal room, lies the most spectacular mosaic of Pafos dated from the middle of the 4th century A.D. The mosaic, which is of excellent quality, consists of five figural panels depicting the newborn Dionysos, Leda and the Swan, the beauty contest between Cassiopeia and the Nereids, Apollon and Marsyas, and finally the Triumph of Dionysos.


Nea Pafos: Mosaic from the House of Aion

The Agora : The Agora, of which only the foundations are preserved today, has the form of a court surrounded by four porticos. The buildings occupying the west wing of the agora are the best preserved. They include an Odeon, which was restored by the Department of Antiquities and accomodates various cultural events today, and the Asklepieion. The whole complex dates to the 2nd century A.D.


Nea Pafos: The Theatre


The Theatre : Located in the northeastern part of the ancient city, on the slopes of the so-called “Fabrica” hill. The University of Sydney, Australia is currently conducting excavations at the site. The construction of the theatre dates to the founding of the city but it went through alterations and its original plan changed during the Roman period. It seems that the theatre continued to be in use until the 5th century A.D.


Nea Pafos: The Theatre


Nea Pafos: The Basilica of Chrysopolitissa

The Basilica of Chrysopolitissa : It is one of the largest basilicas built on the island in the second half of the 4th century A.D. Originally it had seven aisles, which were compressed into five during alterations dating to the 6th century. The rich geometric decoration of the mosaic floors of the basilica dates them to the 4th and 6th centuries A.D. In the central aisle three unique figural scenes representing Christian allegories are preserved. After the destruction of the basilica, a Byzantine church was built on the site in the 11th century. This was followed by a second church dated to around 1500 A.D., which still stands today and functions as Pafos' Anglican church. North of the basilica the ruins of a gothic church belonging to a Franciscan monastery are visible. The gothic church was built around 1300 A.D. and fell into ruin in 1600 A.D.

Within the framework of the Ministry of Communications and Works' campaign for accessiblilty to individuals with disabilities, a network of pedestran bridges have been designed and incorporated in the archaeological site of the Basilica of Chrysopolitissa . Information panels have also been positioned at the beginning of these new routes.


Nea Pafos: The Basilica of Chrysopolitissa

The Castle of 'Saranda Kolones' : The Byzantine castle known as 'Saranda Kolones' ('Forty Columns') due to the great number of granite columns preserved on the site, is located near the port, south of the agora. The castle was built in the 7th century A.D. to protect the port and the city of Nea Pafos from the Arab raids and it remained in use until 1223 when it was destroyed by an earthquake.


Nea Pafos: The Castle of the Forty Columns

Partly accessible to wheelchairs following the directions given by the site´s staff.
(route not marked).

Special Parking Space: available (marked)
Special rest rooms: available (marked)


Tombs of the Kings

The Tombs of the Kings is an impressive necropolis that is located just outside the walls, to the north and east of Paphos town. It was built during the Hellenistic period (3rd century B.C.) to satisfy the needs of the newly founded Nea Paphos. Its name is not connected with the burial of kings, as the royal institution was abolished in 312 B.C., but rather with the impressive character of its burial monuments. The site was the place where the higher administrative officers and distinguished Ptolemaic personalities as well as the members of their families were buried.

The necropolis was continuously used as a burial area during the Hellenistic and Roman periods (200 BC - 300 AD). There is sufficient evidence to support the fact that the first Christians also used the site for their burials, while at the same time the site constituted an endless quarry. Squatters established themselves in some of the tombs during the Medieval period and made alterations to the original architecture.

The existence of the site was already known from the end of the 19th century by Cesnola, who severely looted the tombs. In 1915-16 the then curator of the Cyprus Museum, Markides excavated some shaft tombs, while the honorary curator of Paphos Museum Loizos Philippou started clearance work in a few others tombs in 1937. But it was in 1977 that systematic excavations were undertaken by the Department of Antiquities, which brought to light eight large tomb complexes.

Most of the tombs are characterised by an underground, open aired, peristyled rectangular atrium completely carved into the natural rock. Columns or pillars of the Doric style supported the porticoes, which surrounded the atrium. The burial chambers and the loculi for single burials were dug into the portico walls. It seems that the walls were originally covered with frescoes although today only small fragments are preserved. The tombs' architectural characteristics directly relate them to Hellenistic prototypes from Alexandria, Delos, Pergamon and Priene.


Polis on the North Coast of Cyprus

There are a number of villages you can visit from Paphos. Our favorite was Polis, a small, traditional fishing village on the north coast of Cyprus. It is 37 km north of Pathos near the start of the Akamas Peninsula.

12 km past Polis, on the Akamas Peninsula are the Baths of Aphrodite. There are a number of pleasant walks which deliver spectacular views of the rugged coastline, choose a distance to suit your fitness levels. Walking to the baths is a short paved walk, and there is a beautiful native garden there. If you are after something more strenuous you can hike around the peninsula on any of the well marked hiking trails.

Polis is the perfect spot for a long, leisurely seafood lunch. With your choice of any number of tavernas. Many are family-owned and operated for generations. It makes for a most pleasant afternoon.

There is also some accommodation in Polis (and camping on the Akamas Peninsula). You could stay here and then go down to Paphos, but I think it would be quite limited on what to do in the evening.


The Paphos Odeon is located in Kato Paphos, in the heart of the tourist area and is one of the most important monuments of Nea Paphos. It was part of the Roman Agora buildings and dates backto the 2nd century A.D and it was restored by the Department of Antiquities. Today, it accommodates various cultural events.

The Nea Paphos archaeological site
Nea Paphos is situated on a small promontory on the southwest coast of the island. According to written sources, the town was founded at the end of the 4th century B.C. by Nicocles, the last king of Palepaphos. In the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. when Cyprus became part of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, which had its capital in Alexandria, Nea Paphos became the centre of the Ptolemaic administration on the island. Until the end of the 2nd century B.C., Nea Paphos acquired such an important role as a political and economical centre of the region, that the Ptolemies made it the capital of the whole island.

When in 58 B.C. Cyprus was annexed by Rome, Nea Paphos continued to be the capital of Cyprus. Only after the disastrous earthquakes of the 4th century A.D. was the capital transferred to Salamis, which was then renamed Constantia. Even then, however, Nea Paphos still dominated the other cities of Cyprus. After the Arab raids in the middle of the 7th century, Nea Paphos went through a period of decline and was thus reduced in size. The town regained some of its importance during the Byzantine and Medieval periods, but from the Venetian period onwards, the coastal settlement of Nea Paphos was abandoned and the population began to move further inland where the present town of Paphos (Ktima) developed.

Systematic excavations at Nea Paphos started in 1962 by the Department of Antiquities during which many of the ancient town´s administrative buildings, as well as private houses and ecclesiastical buildings came to light. Nea Paphos, has also been the centre of excavations and research by many foreign archaeological missions, from Universities and Schools from all over Europe, America and Australia.

In 1980, Nea Paphos and Palepaphos were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Please note that the following are not permitted:
1. Entry into the theatre after the beginning of the performance.
2. Smoking, and the consumption of food and drinks at the archeological site (with the exception of water).
3. The use of mobile phones during performance.
4. Taking photographs, with or without flash, and/or filming part and/or whole of the performance.

As damage caused to the historical monuments from discarded food and drinks – and especially chewing gums- is irreversible, you are kindly requested to be sure to put all litter and rubbish in the waste baskets provided.


Contents

In the founding myth, the town's name is linked to the goddess Aphrodite, as the eponymous Paphos was the son (or, in Ovid, daughter) of Pygmalion [6] whose ivory cult image of Aphrodite was brought to life by the goddess as "milk-white" Galatea. [ clarification needed ]

The author of Bibliotheke gives the genealogy. [7] Pygmalion was so devoted to the cult of Aphrodite that he took the statue to his palace and kept it on his couch. The daimon of the goddess entered into the statue, and the living Galatea bore Pygmalion a son, Paphos, and a daughter, Metharme. Cinyras, debated as to if he is the son of Paphos [8] or Metharme's suitor, founded the city under Aphrodite's patronage and built the great temple to the goddess there. According to another legend preserved by Strabo (xi. p. 505), it was founded by the Amazons. [9]

Old Paphos (Palaepaphos), now known as Kouklia (Greek: Κούκλια Turkish: Kukla or Konuklia French: Covocle) (Engel, Kypros, vol. i. p. 125), is on a hill [10] that had a road which spanned a few miles to the sea. It was not far from the Zephyrium promontory [11] and the mouth of the Bocarus stream. [12]

Archaeology shows that Old Paphos has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. It was a centre for Aphrodite's cult. Aphrodite's mythical birthplace was on the island. The founding myth is interwoven with the goddess such that Old Paphos became the most famous and important place for worshipping Aphrodite in the ancient world.

The Greek names of two ancient kings, Etevandros and Akestor, are attested in Cypriot syllabary on objects of seventh century BC found in Kourion. [13]

Aphrodite and Paphos Edit

The Greeks agreed that Aphrodite had landed at the site of Paphos when she rose from the sea. [14] According to Pausanias (i. 14), although her worship was introduced to Paphos from Syria, it was much more likely that it was of Phoenician origin. Before being proven by archaeology it was thought that Aphrodite's cult had been established before the time of Homer (c. 700 BC), as the grove and altar of Aphrodite at Paphos are mentioned in the Odyssey (viii. 362). [9] Archaeology established that Cypriots venerated a fertility goddess in a cult that combined Aegean and eastern mainland aspects before the arrival of the Greeks. Female figurines and charms found in the immediate vicinity date back to the early third millennium. The temenos was well established before the first structures were erected in the Late Bronze Age:

There was unbroken continuity of cult from that time until 391 AD when the Roman Emperor Theodosius I outlawed all pagan religions and the sanctuary fell into the ruins in which we find it today.

Old Paphos was the centre of worshipping Aphrodite for the whole Aegean world. The Cinyradae, or descendants of Cinyras, were the chief priests Greek by name but of Phoenician origin. Their power and authority were great, but it may be inferred from certain inscriptions that they were controlled by a senate and an assembly of the people. There was also an oracle here. [16] Few cities have ever been so much sung and glorified by the poets. [17] The ruins of Aphrodite's vast sanctuary are still discernible, its circumference marked by huge foundation walls. After its destruction by an earthquake it was rebuilt by Vespasian, on whose coins it is represented, as well as on earlier and later ones, and in the style on those of Septimius Severus. [18] From these representations and the existing ruins, Gustav Friedrich Hetsch, an architect of Copenhagen, has attempted to restore the building. [9] [19] [20]

New Paphos Edit

New Paphos (Nea Paphos) was founded on the sea near a natural harbour. It lay about 60 stadia or 12 km northwest of the old city. [21] It also had a founding myth: it was said to have been founded by Agapenor, chief of the Arcadians at the siege of Troy, [22] who, after the capture of the city, was driven out by the storm that separated the Greek fleet onto the coast of Cyprus. (Pausanias viii. 5. § 2.) An Agapenor was mentioned as king of the Paphians in a Greek distich preserved in the Analecta [23] and Herodotus (vii. 90) alludes to an Arcadian "colony" in Cyprus. [9]

In reality, it was probably founded by Nicocles (d. 306 BC), the last king of Palaepaphos, based on an inscription recording his founding of the temple of Artemis Agrotera at Nea Paphos. The inhabitants of Marion were probably also transferred to this new city after its destruction in 312 BC by Ptolemy. [24] A hoard of unused silver coins (in the Cyprus museum) found under the Hellenistic House dating back to the end of the 4th century BC are the earliest find at the site and indicates its founding date.

Old Paphos always retained the pre-eminence in worship of Aphrodite, and Strabo states that the road leading to it from New Paphos was annually crowded with male and female votaries travelling to the ancient shrine, and coming not only from the New Paphos, but also from other towns of Cyprus. When Seneca said (N. Q. vi. 26, Epistle 91) that Paphos was nearly destroyed by an earthquake, it is difficult to say to which of the towns he refers. Dio Cassius (liv. 23) relates that it was restored by Augustus, and called "Augusta" in his honor but though this name has been preserved in inscriptions, it never supplanted the ancient one in popular use. [9]

According to the biblical Acts of the Apostles, after landing at Salamis and proclaiming the Word of God in the synagogues, [25] the prophets and teachers, Barnabas and Saul of Tarsus, traveled along the entire southern coast of the island of Cyprus until they reached Paphos. [26] There, Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul, was converted after Saul rebuked the Sorcerer Elymas. [27] In Paphos, Acts first identifies Saul as Paul. [28]

Tacitus (Hist. ii. 2, 3) records a visit of the youthful Titus to Paphos before he acceded to the empire, who inquired with much curiosity into its history and antiquities. (Cf. Suetonius Titus c. 5.) Under this name the historian included the ancient as well as the more modern city: and among other traits of the worship of the temple he records that the only image of the goddess was a pyramidal stone. [9]

Archaeology Edit

Paphos Archaeological Park covers most of the ancient Greek and Roman City and is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its ancient ruins.

The most significant remains so far discovered are four large and elaborate Roman villas: the House of Dionysos, the House of Orpheus, the House of Aion and the House of Theseus, all with preserved mosaic floors. In addition, excavations have uncovered an Agora, Asklepion, the Basilica of Panagia Limeniotissa, an Odeon cinema, a theatre, and a necropolis known as the Tombs of the Kings.

Post-Classical history Edit

Paphos gradually lost much of its attraction as an administrative centre, particularly after the founding of Nicosia. The city and its port continued to decline throughout the Middle Ages and Ottoman rule, as Nicosia, and the port city of Larnaca became more important.

The city and district continued to lose population throughout the British colonial period and many of its inhabitants moved to Limassol, Nicosia and overseas. The city and district of Paphos remained the most underdeveloped part of the island until 1974.

Modern Paphos Edit

Following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, there was rapid economic activity in all fields, especially tourism in the Kato Paphos area. The government invested heavily in irrigation dams and water distribution works, road infrastructure and the building of Paphos International Airport, the second international airport in Cyprus.

In the 1980s, Kato Paphos received most of the investment. In the 1990s, Coral Bay Resort was further developed and in the 2000s, the Aphrodite Hills resort was developed.

Today Paphos, with a population of about 35,961 (as of 2018 [update] ), is a popular tourist resort and is home to a fishing harbour. Ktima is the main residential district while Kato Paphos, by the sea, is built around the medieval port and contains most of the luxury hotels and the entertainment infrastructure of the city. Apostolou Pavlou Avenue (St. Paul's Avenue), the busiest road in Paphos, connects two quarters of the city. It begins near the city centre at Kennedy Square and ends outside the medieval fort at the harbour.

The economy of Paphos heavily depends on tourism and there are four resorts in the district: Kato Paphos, Coral Bay, Latchi, and Aphrodite Hills. The largest is Kato Paphos which employs over half of Paphos' population. Farming, especially banana, grape and tobacco cultivation, contributes significantly to Paphos' economy.

Paphos Castle stands by the harbor, and was originally a Byzantine fort built to protect the harbour. It was rebuilt by the Lusignans in the 13th century before being dismantled in 1570 by the Venetians, who were unable to defend it against the Ottomans who restored and strengthened it after capturing the island. Saranta Kolones, Kato Paphos, near the harbor, is a castle built in the first years of Lusignan rule (beginning of the 12th century) maybe on the site of a previous Byzantine castle. It was destroyed in the earthquake of 1222.

Among the treasures unearthed near Paphos are the mosaics in the Houses of Dionysos, Theseus and Aion, preserved after 16 centuries underground vaults and caves the Tombs of the Kings and the pillar to which Saint Paul was said to have been tied and whipped and the ancient Odeon Theatre. Other places of interest include the Byzantine Museum and the District Archaeological Museum, with its collection of Cypriot antiquities from the Paphos area dating back from the Neolithic Age up to 1700 AD. Near the Odeon are the ruins of the ancient city walls, the Roman Agora, and a building dedicated to Asclepius, god of medicine.

The mosaic floors of these elite villas dating from the 3rd to the 5th century are among the finest in the Eastern Mediterranean. They mainly depict scenes from Greek mythology.

The city contains many catacomb sites dating back to the early Christian period. The most famous is Saint Solomoni Church, originally a Christian catacomb retaining some of its 12th century frescoes. A sacred tree at the entrance is believed to cure the ailments of those who hang a personal offering on its branches.

A few miles outside the city, the rock of Aphrodite (lit. "Stone of the Greek") emerges from the sea. According to legend, Aphrodite rose from the waves at this spot. The Greek name, Petra tou Romiou is associated with the legendary frontier-guard of Byzantine times, Digenis Acritas, who kept the marauding Saracens at bay. It is said that to repel one attack he heaved a large rock at his enemy.

The site recently had the Aphrodite Hills resort built on it. The resort features a five-star intercontinental resort hotel, an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, fitness facilities, holiday villas, apartments, townhouses and the Retreat Spa. [29]

Near Petra tou Romiou is Palaepaphos, Old Paphos, one of the most celebrated places of pilgrimage in the ancient Greek world, and once an ancient city-kingdom of Cyprus. The ruins of the Temple of Aphrodite stand here, dating back as early as 12th century BC. The temple was one of the most important places of Aphrodite's cult and pilgrimage of the ancient world until the 3rd–4th centuries AD. The museum, housed in the Lusignan Manor, houses artifacts from the area.

Yeroskipou is a town in Paphos' metropolitan area known for many years for its delight 'loukoumi'.

North-east of Paphos lies Ayios Neophytos (St. Neophytos) Monastery, known for its "Encleistra" (Enclosure) carved out of the mountain by the hermit himself, which features some Byzantine frescoes from the 12th and 15th centuries. The painted village church of Emba (Empa) is nearby.

Four kilometres (2.5 miles) north of Paphos is the village of Lemba (Lempa), home to numerous artists, many of whom have open studio shops. It is home to the sculpture known as the Great Wall of Lempa by the Cypriot artist Stass Paraskos and the Cyprus College of Art.

Off the coast of Paphos is the wreck of M/V Demetrios II which ran aground on 23 March 1998 in heavy seas during a voyage from Greece to Syria with a cargo of timber.

Similarly, on 8 December 2011, the EDRO III ran aground off the coast of Cyprus. It is located near the Sea Caves of Paphos on the western shore of the island close to the Akamas Peninsula. Built in the 1960s, registered in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the Edro III is owed by an Albanian shipping company. It was traveling from Limassol, Cyprus to Rhodes when it ran aground. It is still shipwrecked to this day, although its cargo and fuel oil were removed. Local authorities are hesitant to remove the ship from the rocks due to the fact that the coastline is a protected natural park where turtles nest and endemic plant and animal species thrive.


The Odeon in Use Today

The Odeon is not only a stunning archaeological site to visit but live music and theatrical performances are staged her as well as a portion of the site has been restored by the Cypriot Department of Antiquities. Events performed here have included the 2nd Georgian Culture Festival and a performance of Oedipus the King by Sophocles.

A visitor can almost feel like he has traveled back in time to the 2nd century AD and is sitting among the ancient Cypriots enjoying the live performance of these old plays and dramas that would have been new to the ancient Cypriots. The formation of the hewn limestone provides an ethereal acoustic experience.


Photos of Paphos, the south-west of Cyprus, Cyprus

Paphos or, in Greek, Páfos (Πάφος) is a city on the southwestern Meditteranean coast of Cyprus and about 50 kilometres west of Limassol. It was founded as New Paphos (Nea Paphos) to distinguish itself from Old Paphos (Palaepaphos), now called Kouklia, 23 kilometres to the east. It was probably founded in 312 BCE by Nicocles, the last King of Palaepaphos and was known as the centre of worship of the goddess Aphrodite. It is now a popular tourist destination with hotels and resorts on the beach.

The modern city of Paphos is divided into two levels: Pano Paphos, the commercial centre and Kato Paphos, the lower and coastal area with its great archeological sites. Kato Paphos Archaeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, where most of the ancient Greek and Roman city stood. There are large Roman villas with well-preserved mosaic floors. There is the Odeon Amphitheatre, a Roman outdoor theatre and further north the Agiou Lambrianou Catacombs and a necropolis known as the Tombs of the Kings, underground tombs carved out of solid rock, some dating back to the 4th century BCE.

Overlooking Paphos harbour is Paphos Castle, originally built as a Byzantine fort and rebuilt after an earthquake by the Frankish Lusignans. They ruled Cyprus at the time in the thirteenth century. In 1570 it was dismantled by the Venetians but restored and strengthened by the Ottomans. East from the harbour the mosaic floor and columns of the 4th century Christian Chrysopolitissa basilica, the largest Early Byzantine basilica on the island, can be found. It was ultimately destroyed during Arab raids in 653. Just north of it is St. Paul’s Pillar, where, according to tradition, the people of Paphos tied St. Paul and whipped him he did visit Paphos, according to the Bible.

About five kilometres north of Paphos is Chloraka, where, in the night of 10 November 1954, General Georgios Grivas came ashore on St. George beach, starting his struggle for “Enosis”, the union of Cyprus with Greece and getting rid of the British. Here is a museum with the “Agios Georgios”, the boat that was used to import ammunition for the EOKA Liberation Struggle in 1955-59. A statue of Grivas (or Dhigenis, as he was called during the war) is on the beach.


Tombs of the Kings

Tombs of the Kings is a magnificent necropolis from the Hellenistic and Roman periods, roughly from 300 B.C. until 300 A.C.

Despite its name it was rich and noble those who were buried here, not kings. During the Hellenistic period it was used for Ptolemaic high class and their families. This continued during the Roman period. There is also evidence that the first Christians also used this cemetery.

The tombs are carved out of solid rock. This fact and their beauty make them such an impressive monument.

It is located next to the archaeological park of Paphos to the west. It is also part of the ancient site that was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Entrance to the site is from the Tombs of the Kings avenue, the road connecting Kato Paphos with Coral Bay. Busses stop outside the monument. There is also ample free parking space, so the access is very easy and the entrance fee is cheap, so.

Another must-see ancient monument in Paphos.


Aliathon Resort

Aliathon Resort is located in the heart of Paphos tourist area, it is ideally located close to the below places of interest that you can visit while staying with us.

The mosaic floors of these noblemen’s villas dating from the 3 rd to the 5 th centuries A.D. are considered among the finest in the eastern Mediterranean. Depicting mainly scenes from Greek mythology they were discovered accidentally in 1962 by a farmer ploughing his field. The mosaics at the House of Dionysos depict the god of wine while the House of Thyseus is names after a mosaic showing the ancient Greek hero brandishing a club against the minotaur.

Location
Harbour Area, Pafos

Accreditation
Unesco World Heritage

Opening Hours
April – September
08:30hrs – 19:30hrs
October – March
08:30hrs – 17:30hrs

Entrance Fee
€3.40
Subject to change

The “tomb of the kings” are situated close to the sea in the north western necropolis of Paphos. They owe their name to their size and splendor – some probably belonged to the Pafian aristocracy, and not because royalty was buried there. They are rock cut and date to the Hellenistic and early Roman periods. Some of them imitate the houses of living, with the rooms (here the burial chambers) opening onto a peristyle atrium. They are similar to tombs found in Alexandria, demonstrating the close relations between the two cities during the Hellenistic period.

Location
Tomb of the kings Av, Pafos

Accreditation
Unesco World Heritage

Opening Hours
07:30hrs – 19:30hrs

Entrance Fee
€1.70
Subject to change

It is a small 2 nd century Odeon built entirely of well-hewn limestone blocks. Today it is used in the summer for musical and theatrical performances.

Location
Harbour Area, Pafos

Accreditation
Unesco World Heritage

Opening Hours
April – September
08:30hrs – 19:30hrs
October – March
08:30hrs – 17:30hrs

Entrance Fee
€4.50
Subject to change

The fort of Nea Pafos (Paphos) is located at the west end of the harbor. It was built during the Frankish occupation in the 13 th century in order to replace the Byzantine castle of ‘Saranta Kolones’. The fort only has one entrance on its east side and very small windows. Its main part is a big square tower that has an enclosed courtyard in the middle. The Venetians dismantled the fort in 1570so that the Otttomans, who had begun their conquest of the island, would not use it. According to a Turkish inscription placed above the entrance the Ottomans rebuilt the fort in 1780. Nearby are the ruins of a second fort, which was probably built in the same period.

Location
Harbour Area, Pafos

Accreditation
Unesco World Heritage

Opening Hours
April – October
08:00hrs – 18:00hrs
November – March
08:00hrs – 17:00hrs

Entrance Fee
€1.70
Subject to change

The history of the monastery of Agios Neofytos is well documented in the autobiography of its founder, the Cypriot hermit and writer Neofytos. It is built in what used to be a secluded location at the head of a picturesque valley, about 10 km northwest of Pafos (Paphos). The ‘Egkleistra’, an enclosure carved out of mountain bu the hermit at the end of the 12 th century, contains some of the finest Byzantine frescoes from the 12 th to the 15 th centuries.

The later monastery church contains some of the best examples of post – Byzantine icons of the 16 th century, and there is also a very interesting ecclesiastical museum.

Location
Tala, Pafos

Accreditation
Unesco World Heritage

Opening Hours
Summer
09:00hrs – 13:00hrs
14:00hrs – 18:00hrs
Winter
09:00hrs – 16:00hrs

Entrance Fee
Free
Subject to change

PETRA TOU ROMIOU
(BIRTHPLACE OF APHRODITE)

This interesting geological formation of huge rocks off the southwest coast in the Pafos (Paphos) district forms one of the most impressive natural sites of Cyprus associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

According to legend, this strikingly beautiful spot is where Aphrodite rose from the wave and the foaming sea and was then escorted on a shell to the rocks know as ‘Rock of Aphrodite’ or ‘Petra tou Romiou’ in Greek. The Greek name Petra tou Romiou, ‘the Rock of Greek’, is associated with the legendary Byzantine hero, Digenis Akritas, who kept the marauding Saracens at bay with his amazing strength. It is said that he heaved a huge rock into the sea, destroying the enemies ships.

Location
25km east of Pafos – along main road to Limassol


Pafos Archaeological Park - Cyprus

Pafos Archaeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site from 1980 and it is probably the most inspiring and exciting site on the island.

According to written sources, the town was founded at the end of the 4th century by Nicocles, the last king of Palaipafos. In the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. when Cyprus became part of the Ptolemaic kingdom, Nea Pafos became the center of Ptolemaic administration on the island. When in 58 B.C. Cyprus was annexed by Rome, Nea Pafos continued to be the capital of Cyprus. Only after the disastrous earthquakes of the 4th century A.D. was the capital transferred to Salamis, which was then renamed Constantia.

The most important monuments at the site are:

Asklipieion, the Roman Odeon, the Agora, the 'Saranta Kolones' (Forty Columns) Fortress, the Basilica of Chrysopolitissa, Hellenistic Theatre and Paphos Roman mosaics which can be founded at House of Aion, at Villa of Theseus, at House of Orpheus and at House of Dioysus.

The Asklipion was sacred to Asklipios, god of medicine. Its priests were renowned for their healings skills, and it was a hospital as well as a temple of worship.

It is a small 2nd century Odeon built entirely of well-hewn limestone blocks. Today it is used in the summer for musical and theatrical performances.

Agora dates from the middle of the 2nd century A.D. It formed a square court measuring 95 x 95m, with colonnaded porticos.

'Saranta Kolones' Fortress:

This Byzantine castle is located just north of the harbour of Pafos (Paphos). It takes its name from the large number of granite columns that were found on the site and probably once formed part of the ancient agora.

The Basilica of Chrysopolitissa: It is one of the largest basilicas built on the island in the second half of the 4th century A.D.

It is a semi-circular theatre with seven rows of stone benches, cut into the rock of the hillside.

The mosaic floors of these Roman villas dating from the 3rd to the 5th centuries A.D. are considered among the finest in the eastern Mediterranean. Depicting mainly scenes from Greek mythology they were discovered accidentally in 1962 by a farmer ploughing his field. The mosaics at the House of Dionysus depict the god of wine, while the House of Thyseus is named after a mosaic showing the ancient Greek hero brandishing a club against the Minotaur. Many other superb panels can be seen in other houses such as in the House of Aion and the House of Orpheus.

Winter hours (1st November - 31st March)

Spring hours (1st April - 31st May)

Summer hours (1st June - 31st August)

Autumn hours (1st September - 31st October)

Partly accessible to wheelchairs following the directions given by the site´s staff.


Watch the video: Roman Odeon Theatre, Paphos, Cyprus