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21nov(nov 21)9:00 am24(nov 24)11:00 amCyprus International 4-Day Challenge

21nov9:30 am12:00 pmFree Guided Walking Tour in Old Town Pafos

22nov8:00 pmViva Vivaldi! Arie | Concerti | Gloria

23nov3:00 pm7:00 pmAnd now...what?

28nov9:30 am12:00 pmFree Guided Walking Tour in Old Town Pafos

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Archaeological Sites

Pafos has a wealth of treasures for the visitor

Ancient temples, rock-cut tombs and Roman villas with elaborate mosaic floors all reflect the highly sophisticated societies which inhabited Pafos in the past. With a history dating back more than eight thousand years, the town offers a wealth of treasures to the visitor.

From the Stone Age, through Hellenistic and Roman times to the Byzantine era, many of Pafos’ ancient monuments are included in UNESCO’s Global Heritage List.

Pafos Archaeological Park (UNESCO)

Kato Pafos, near Pafos harbor

Tel: +357 26306217

Open Daily:

Winter hours (16th September – 15th April): 8.30 – 17.00

Summer hours (16th April – 15th September): 8.30 – 19.30

Entrance: €4.50

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

The inclusion of the Kato Pafos archaeological site in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1980 was the catalyst for a far-reaching plan, the aim of which was to protect and maintain the town’s archaeological remains, as well as to promote them and provide comprehensive information for visitors. Kato Pafos Archaeological Park includes sites and monuments from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages, while most date from the Roman period. The marvellous mosaic floors of four Roman villas form the impressive epicentre of the Park, but the complex also includes other important monuments, such as the Asklipieion, the Odeon, the Agora, the “Saranta Kolones” (Forty Columns) fortress, the basilica of Panagia Limeniotissa (Our Lady of the Harbour) and the “Tombs of the Kings”.

Ancient Odeon

The Pafos Odeon lies in Kato Pafos, in the heart of the tourist area. It is a small 2nd-century amphitheatre built of well-hewn limestone blocks. Today it is used in the summer for musical and theatrical performances.
Nearby are the remains of the ancient city walls, the Roman Agora and a building dedicated to Asklipeios, god of medicine.

The Agora

The Agora, situated in front of the Odeon, dates from the middle of the 2nd century A.D. It formed a square courtyard measuring 95 x 95 metres, with colonnaded porticos. The columns of the colonnade have Corinthian capitals but no flutes.

The Asklepieion

A sanctuary dedicated to the god of medicine, Asklepeios, it was also used as a healing centre. It is situated to the south of the Odeon and southwest of the Agora. It is a large building complex with several rooms and a square courtyard.

Saranta Kolones

This ruined medieval fortress, situated near the harbour, was built by the Lusignans at the beginning of the 13th century on the site of a previous Byzantine castle. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1222.

The name Saranta Kolones (forty columns) derives from the large number of granite columns spread across this archaeological site.

Pafos Mosaics

Kato Pafos, near Pafos harbour
Tel: +357 26306217

Open daily:

Winter hours (16th September – 15th April): 8.30 – 17.00

Summer hours (16th April – 15th September): 8.30 – 19.30

Entrance: €4.50(Paid at the entrance of the Archaeological Park and includes all sites within the Park)

The House of Dionysos

The mosaic floors depicting mythological scenes 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.

The House of Theseus

The House of Theseus lies close to the House of Dionysus and also dates back to the second century A.D. The mosaics in this villa feature interesting geometrical patterns as well as mythological representations. Noteworthy are the mosaics of “Theseus killing the Minotaur” and the “Birth of Achilles”.

The House of Aion

The mosaics in the House of Aion date 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

The floors of this villa belong to the third century A.D and lie to the west of the House of Theseus. Three notable mosaic depictions of mythology here are “Orpheus and his Lyre”, “Hercules and the Lion of Nemea” and “the Amazon”.

The House of Four Seasons

This house lies to the north of the House of Orpheus. It was named after the mosaic that represents the personification of the four seasons, which dates back to the first half of the third century A.D.

Medieval Castle of Pafos

Harbour, Kato Pafos

Tel: +357 26306217

Open daily:

Winter hours (16th September – 15th April): 8.30 – 17.00

Summer hours (16th April – 15th September): 8.30 – 19.30

Entrance: € 2.50

Non-accessible wheelchair

Pafos castle was originally a Byzantine fort built to protect the harbour. 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. Originally, this role was served by the Saranta Kolones fort, the ruins of which lie a few hundred metres to the north. During its long history, Pafos Castle has also been used as a prison, and even as a storage area for salt when the island was a British colony. In 1935 it was declared an ancient monument and today it is considered one of the hallmarks of the Pafos region.
Many cultural events take place in the square just in front of the castle, and every September the Pafos Aphrodite Festival presents a different opera staged here by world-famous artists using the castle as a backdrop and part of the scenery.

The Hellenistic –Roman Theatre of Pafos

The site of the ancient theatre of Nea Paphos is in the modern town of Kato Paphos. The theatre was built by the Ptolemies of Alexandria around 300 BC, on the southern slope of a hill to the north-east of the ancient walled city. It survived until the late 4th century AD. It is possible to identify at least five major phases of building and renovation during the theatre’s history, representing the changing nature of performances during the Greek and Roman periods as well as restorations after earthquake damage.

Tombs of the Kings

Kato Pafos, Tombs of the kings Ave
Tel: +357 26306295

Open daily:

Winter hours (16th  September – 15th  April): 8.30 – 17.00

Summer hours (16th  April – 15th September): 8.30 – 19.30

Entrance: €2.50

Spread over a vast area, these impressive underground tombs date back to the 4th century BC. They are carved out of solid rock and some are decorated with Doric pillars. High officials rather than Kings were buried here, but the magnificence of the tombs gave the locality its name.

Panagia Chrysopolitissa

Kato Pafos
Tel: +357 26306217

Open daily:

Winter hours (16th September – 15th April): 8.30 – 17.00

Summer hours (16th April – 15th September): 8.30 – 19.30

Entrance: Free

The Panagia Chrysopolitissa church was built in the 13th century over the ruins of the largest early Byzantine basilica on the island. Within the compound is St. Paul’s Pillar, where tradition has it that Saint Paul was flogged before the Roman Governor, Sergius Paulus, was converted to Christianity. Originally the church was seven–aisled, but was later reduced to five aisles. The floor of the basilica was covered with colourful mosaics, some of which are still preserved.

St Paul's Pillar

Saint Paul visited Pafos in 45 AD in an attempt to convert the ruler of the time to Christianity.

Saint Paul visited Pafos in 45 AD and tried to convert the ruler of the time to Christianity.
He was eventually successful in his efforts, but not before being tied to this otherwise unremarkable lump of stone and whipped. He received 40 lashes for evangelising on the island.
Saint Paul’s Pillar is one of several popular stops for pilgrims who come to visit the religious sites of this early bastion of the Christian faith.

Royal Manor of Kouklia

Kouklia Village

Tel: +357 26432155

Open daily:

Winter hours (16th  September – 15th  Apri )
Monday – Sunday: 8.30 – 17.00

Summer hours (16th  April – 15th  September)
Monday – Sunday: 8.30 – 19.30

Entrance: €4.50 (the price includes entry to the local Museum of Palaipafos-Kouklia)

 

The Royal Manor House at Kouklia was the nucleus of the feudal estate of the area which, among other things, supervised sugar production. It is a big building complex dating to the 13th century with some later extensions renovated in modern times. Today it houses the local archaeological museum.

Christian Basilicas at Pegeia

All over Cyprus there are many fine Christian basilicas which were constructed during the early Byzantine period. Today in Pafos, the remains of two such basilicas are preserved, that of Panagia Chrysopolitissa and Panayia Limeniotissa.
The basilica of Panagia Chrysopolitissa is situated in the eastern part of the town. It is the largest basilica excavated so far in Cyprus and once it was the cathedral of the town and the seat of its bishop. It was built at the end of the 4th century and destroyed in the middle of the 7th century, during the Arab raids. This was originally a seven-aisled basilica, which was rebuilt and modified several times. The Medieval church of Agia Kyriaki stands nearby.
The basilica of Panagia Limeniotissa is situated a short distance from Pafos harbour. This is a three-aisled basilica, built at the beginning of the 5th century. Very few sections of its mosaic floors with geometric patterns have survived.
Three other basilicas, next door to each other, have been excavated in the Cape Drepano area, about 15 kilometres northwest of Pafos. They are known as the basilicas of Agios Georghios tis Pegeias. The largest of them, with three aisles, was built in the middle of the 6th century, the second one a few years later and the third at the end of the 6th or the beginning of the 7th century

Ancient city of Marion

Following the example of Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies founded several new cities. After its total destruction by Ptolemy I, the city of Marion was rebuilt at the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. and was re-named Arsinoe in honour of the sister and wife of Ptolemy Philadelphos. Two other cities were also founded with the name Arsinoe, one in the east of Cyprus at Salamis, and the second in the district of Pafos, between New and Old Pafos. This town which, according to Strabo, had anchorage (προσόρμιον), a sanctuary (ιερό), and a sacred grove (άλσος), has not been identified. Its sanctuary was probably dedicated to queen Arsinoe who, on her death (in 270 B.C.) was deified and worshipped in Pafos on a par with Aphrodite, as were many other Ptolemaic kings and queens

 

Kings of Marion

The ancient kingdom of Marion with its capital of the same name (present day “Polis tis Chrysochous”) was also situated in the Pafos district. From inscriptive and numismatic evidence we know the names of only 5 kings of Marion:

 

1.Doxandros(5th century B.C.)
2.Sasmas(5th century B.C.)
3.Stasioikos I(5th century B.C.)
4.Timocharis(5th century B.C.)
5.Stasioikos  II(5th century B.C.)
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