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HK Villa Holidays Paphos

Paphos

Places to Visit in Paphos

Paphos

 

Must see places when in Paphos Region


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Paphos

Amphitheatre Paphos   Gardens of Paphos   Harbour Fort in Paphos   Acropolis   Agious Georgios Chapel Paphos   Boats in the harbour Paphos   Carnival time in Paphos
Paphos   Paphos Gardens   Paphos Fort   Paphos Acropolis   Chapel Georgious   Paphos fishing boats   Paphos Carnival
 


Paphos is a very popular holiday resort of Cyprus

Paphos, a very popular resort in Cyprus. Paphos has many historic sights as well as sporting activities to visit. Paphos is a Region of Cyprus that has something for everyone wishing to take a vacation at any time of the year

Paphos and its Founding Myths

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

The author of Bibliotheke, the Hellenistic encyclopedia of myth long attributed to Apollodorus, gives the genealogy. Pygmalion was so devoted to the cult of Aphrodite that he removed the statue to his palace and kept it on his couch. The diamon of the goddess entered into the statue, and the living Galatea bore Pygmalion a son, Paphos, and a daughter, Metharme, Cinyras, perhaps the son of Paphus, but perhaps the successful suitor of Metharme, founded the city under the patronage of Aphrodite and built the great temple to the goddess there. According to another legend preserved by Strabo, whose text, however, varies, it was founded by the Amazons.

Old Paphos

Old Paphos, now the site of the village of Kouklia on a hill a few miles from the sea and what is now Paphos seafront. It was not far from the Zephyrium promontory and the mouth of the Bocarus stream.

Archaeology shows that Palaepaphos (Kouklia) has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. It was a centre of the cult of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, and of pre-Hellenic fertility deities. Aphrodite's mythical birthplace was on the island. The founding myth is interwoven with the goddess at every level, so 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.

Aphrodite at Paphos

The Greeks agreed that Aphrodite had landed at the site of Paphos when she rose from the sea. According to Pausanias, her worship was introduced to Paphos from Syria; but much more probably it was of Phoenician origin. Before it was proved by archaeology it was understood that the cult of Aphrodite 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). Archaeology has established that Cypriots venerated a fertility goddess before the arrival of the Greeks, in a cult that combined Aegean and eastern mainland aspects. Female figurines and charms found in the immediate vicinity date as far back as 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."

Here the worship of the goddess was centred, not for Cyprus alone, but 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 very 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. Few cities have ever been so much sung and glorified by the poets. The remains of the vast sanctuary of Aphrodite 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 especially in the style on those of Septimius Severus. From these representations, and from the existing remains, Gustav Friedrich Hetsch, an architect of Copenhagen, has attempted to restore the building.

Mosaics of Paphos   Paphos Harbour Mosaics
Mosiac from the House of Dionysos - God of wine 3rd c AD
The mosaic decorations and the mythological compositions are the main characteristics of this restored Roman villa, dating back to the second century A.D. The house is named House of Dionysos thanks to the many depictions of Dionysos, the god of wine. The house most probably belonged to a member of the ruling Roman class or to a wealthy citizen of Pafos.

Paphos Mosaics   The House of Theseus
The mosaics of the villa of Theseus lie close to the House of Dionysus and date back to the second century A.D. A visitor can see the very interesting geometrical decorations as well as mythological representations. Worth seeing are the mosaics of “Theseus killing the Minotaur” and the Birth of Achilles   The House of Aion
The mosaics of the House of Aion date back to the fourth century A.D and lie close to the mosaics of Dionysus and Theseus. Five mythological scenes worth seeing are: The bath of Dionysus, Leda and the Swan, Beauty contest between Cassiopeia and the Nereids,  Apollo and Marsyas, and the Triumphant procession of Dionysus. The House of Orpheus

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

Venetian bridges of Paphos    Venetian Bridges:
The hidden Venetian bridges in Paphos Forest are testimony to the Venetians rule from 1489-1571. The bridges formed part of the old camel trail, built to aid the extraction of anything valuable the Venetians could find on the island, for example copper from Pera pedi.

Recently the Department of Forests has opened up a trail from the deserted village of Vretsia to the Elia Bridge and beyond. Its a great walk or 4×4 drive. It’s also used as a Special Stage for the Rally of Cyprus. The bridges are tucked away in quiet valleys and are a real treasure.  On the hottest days there’s a coolness around them from the gently burbling streams they cross.

Elia bridge of Paphos                Kelephos bridge of Paphos                Piskopos bridge of Paphos                 Roudias bridge of Paphos                Skarfos bridge of Paphos
Elia Bridge                         Kelephos Bridge                 Piskopos Bridge                  Roudias Bridge                  Skafos Bridge

To find the bridges, follow the minor road north east from Koilineia (just off the main road from Acheleia to Pano Panagia) through the deserted village of Vretsia – an interesting stop in itself. 

The road becomes a dirt track that a normal car can get along with a bit of care.  The first bridge you find is the Roudia Bridge tucked away on the right.  The next is the Kelefos Bridge on the left as you go through the shallow ford, and then the Elia Bridge comes up next and is tucked away on the right.  They’re all clearly signed, so are quite easy to find.

Blue Lagoon of Paphos   Blue Lagoon:
Nothing beats exploring the picture perfect Akamas peninsula, with its rugged forested sea cliffs dropping down to the crystal clear seas of the west coast. And there is nowhere better to experience the beauty of the sea that the Blue Lagoon with its brilliant turquoise waters as clear as a swimming pool. Head out on a boat trip from Latchi to really experience it at its best, giving you a glimpse of all the lovely coves in the area while enjoying a splash in the blissfully cool waters!  Blue Lagoon will take your breath away with its white sand on the sea bed and warm turquoise waters. Enjoy swimming or snorkelling in the clear waters of one of the most beautiful bays in Cyprus. The legend states that Aphrodite bathed there before her marriage to Adonis.

Akamas National Park of Paphos   Akamas Cape:
Akamas, is a promontory and cape at the northwest extremity of Cyprus with an area of 230 square kilometres. Ptolemy described it as a thickly wooded headland, divided into two by a mountain range rising towards the north.  The peninsula is named after a son of Theseus, hero of the Trojan War and founder of the city-kingdom of Soli. Due to the mountainous nature of the peninsula there are no roads running through its heartland and some roads marked on Cypriot road maps of the area are very rough terrains. Visitor attractions in Akamas include a loggerhead turtle sanctuary and the Baths of Aphrodite where the goddess is said to have bathed.

Avacas Gorge of Paphos
   The Avakas Gorge:
Outdoor enthusiasts have 79sq km of land to explore either on foot or by bicycle and less active tourists can always opt for a jeep safari tour or even hire their own 4x4 vehicle to marvel at the amazing scenery. I could wax lyrically about the landscape on the Akamas peninsula all day...about the steep gorges, hair raising rocky mountain bike descents and leisurely strolls on the nature trails

Kykkos Monastery of Paphos   The monastery of Panagia tou Kykkou:
The Kykkos Monastery is the richest on the island and it shows. Its buildings are pristine and immaculately maintained, its murals vivid and bright, its monks numerous. This wealth grew partly because of the pulling power of the icon, and partly because, during Ottoman times, many people chose to donate their money to the church rather than see it whittled away by heavy Ottoman taxes. On entry, through a highly decorated porch, you walk into a handsome courtyard with a museum at the far left and, above the monastery roof, a wooded hillside with a recently built bell tower. Beyond the main courtyard the visitor is free to explore a series of passageways and flights of steps and paved courtyards that can not seem to muster a right angle between them.

The monastery church is opulent even by Greek Orthodox standards, and is lined with icons (including the famous one of the Virgin, in its own silver, tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl protective case), usually busy being kissed by a line of supplicants. Nearby is a brass or bronze arm, the result of a punishment, it is said, meted out by the Virgin to a Turk who had the temerity to light a cigarette from one of the sanctuary lamps, and, a more cheerful story, the blade of a swordfish, presented by a sailor who was saved from drowning by the Queen of Heaven. The church and the courtyard outside it often becomes packed with people at weekends – some attending weddings or christenings, some making pious pilgrimage, others simply having a day out.

Holiday villa Hieros Kepos in Paphos

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