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Paphos attractions

Paphos is the main resort center on the west coast of Cyprus. The seashore here is rockier than in the east part near Ayia Napa, so there are fewer beaches in the Paphos area. However, there are a large number of historical attractions around Paphos. There is an international airport in Paphos. 

The settlement in the area of the city of Paphos (10 km east of modern Paphos) appeared in the Neolithic era. Now this place is called Paleo Paphos, where you can see ancient churches and Roman villas. In the works of the ancient historian Strabo, you can read that New Paphos was founded in the 12th century BC by the commander of the Arcadians Agapenor after the end of the Trojan War. The oldest part of Paphos, where the historical sites are preserved, is called Kato Paphos. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. 

During the period of Greek rule until the 4th century BC, Paphos was a provincial city. The capital of Cyprus was located in ancient Salamis, which is located on the east coast. Everything changed in 294 BC. Cyprus was captured by Ptolemy, who ruled in Egypt. He made Paphos the capital of Cyprus. At this time, Paphos reached its highest peak. 

During Roman rule, the importance of Paphos gradually declined, especially after several devastating earthquakes. Emperor Constantine the Great at the beginning of the 4th century AD, after another earthquake, decided not to restore Paphos, and moved the capital back to Salamis. In the Middle Ages, during the reign of the Lusignan dynasty, the fortifications of Paphos were restored. The town began to develop again, however, during the earthquake of 1222, most of the fortification was again destroyed. 

Attractions in Paphos 

The main attraction of Paphos is the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park. Its territory covers about 20 hectares. Due to frequent earthquakes, only the foundations of ancient buildings have been preserved here, but archaeologists found ancient mosaics that decorated the floors of Roman villas. 

In Kato Paphos, you can visit four villas named after the gods and heroes of ancient Greek myths: The Villa of Dionysus, the Villa of Theseus, the House of Aion, and the House of Orpheus. The largest mosaic panels are found in the Villa of Dionysus and the Villa of Theseus. There, the area of mosaic floors reaches several hundred square meters. 

Next to the ancient villas is the Ancient Greek Agora, as well as the Odeon Theater. Previously, there was a trade area and a center of social life. The Agora square was surrounded by granite columns, but most of them were used by the Byzantines to strengthen the Castle of Saranta Kolones, which they built nearby in the 6th century to protect against Arab raids. 

Apart from the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, there are two important attractions in Paphos. On the opposite side of the street of the Apostle Paul, you can visit the excavations around the Church Chrysopolitissa. In Roman times, there was a Forum located there. In 45 AD, the Apostle Paul was scourged there when he arrived in Cyprus to preach Christianity. To this day, the column to which he was tied has been preserved. The mosaic floors of a 4th-century Byzantine basilica, as well as the church of Christopolitissa, built in the 16th century are also preserved here. 

One of the most interesting sights of Paphos is the Kings Tombs. They were cut in the rocks 3 kilometers north of Kato Paphos. The first burials in the Kings Tombs of Paphos date back to the 4th century BC. At this time, Cyprus fell under the rule of the Ptolemaic dynasty, who ruled in Egypt. In their monumentality, these tombs are similar to those of Egypt. The most famous in the necropolis is the tomb with a courtyard of Doric columns. 

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Mosaic floors of the Bishop`s Palace (6th century) and the Church of Chrisopolitissa (16th century) in Paphos
The ruins of the Villa of Theseus in the archaeological park of Kato Paphos. It was the home of the Roman consul
Mosaic The Triumph of Dionysus in the House of Aion in the Archaeological Park of Kato Paphos
Subjects of mosaic panels: Cassiopeia and the Nereids, Bathing Lady, Apollo and Marsyas in the House Aion in Kato Paphos
Kings Tombs (4th century BC) - one of the most interesting historical sights of Paphos
The most monumental tomb with a courtyard surrounded by Doric columns, among the Kings Tombs in Paphos
The Paphos castle was built and destroyed several times. The castle, built by the Turks in 1592, has survived to this day
The rock of Petra Tou Romiou is the place where the goddess of beauty Aphrodite was born in the sea foam and came to the Cypriot coast
Saranta Kolones Castle was the main stronghold of the fortress wall that surrounded Kato Paphos in the 6th century
Early Christian Basilica in the catacombs in the Archaeological Park of Kato Paphos
Ruins of the Roman Forum near the church of Chrisopolitissa in Paphos
The church of Chrysopolitissa (Agia Kyriaki), which has survived to this day, was built in Paphos in 1500
The church of Chrisopolitessa was built in 1500 by the Venetians and was initially Catholic, now it is Orthodox
Ruins of the first Christian basilica of the 4th century in Paphos
Coral Bay Beach, 15 kilometers from Paphos, can be called one of the best beaches on the west coast of Cyprus
The water at Coral Bay Beach is clear, but it does not have an azure hue
The Turks built the Paphos castle for protection from artillery
Volcanic rocks on the beach in front of the Petra Tou Romiou
The foam of the sea surf where the goddess of Beauty Aphrodite came ashore at the rock of Petra Tou Romiou
The Kings tombs in Pafos were carved into the rocks, below ground level, but they were exposed to light through holes in the roof
Kings tombs appeared in Paphos during the reign of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty. They are similar to the Egyptian necropolis
Catacombs of the First Christians in the archaeological park of Kato Paphos
The area of the Agora in the archaeological Park of Kato Paphos
The ruins of the Odeon Theater in the Archaeological Park of Kato Paphos
Ruins of an 11th-century Gothic church near the Chrysopolitissa Church in Paphos
Yachts moored in the old port of Paphos