Paphos is a beautiful travel destination that is perfect for those who love vacationing at a place that is sunny, historically rich, and full of little surprises just waiting for you to find them. When in Cyprus, you can’t miss the beach. However, you should also remember to check out all of the fascinating historical sites that Paphos has to offer. Whether you’re a history buff or not, you’re sure to learn something that you never knew before. Here are seven historical sites to visit in this beautiful Mediterranean city:
Paphos Archaeological Park
Dating back to the prehistoric times, the Kato Pafos archaeological park contains many artifacts that also include items from the Roman and Middle Ages. Take a walk through time as you take the same steps as people did in the past. With ancient monuments dedicated to Asklepieion, the god of medicine and beautiful Roman villas to see, the Pafos archaeological park is a great place to visit if you are a fan of history. For those who love their architecture, don’t forget to stop by to gaze at the marvel of the Odeion amphitheater, Agora, and the Saranta Kolones Fortress. This park is not to be missed if you have some time in Cyprus. The park opens every from 8 am to 5 pm, closing early at 4 pm from April to May and September to October and at 7.30 pm from June to August.
Agios Georgios Pegeia Archaeological Site
Another fantastic site to look at historic ruins and artifacts is the Agios Georgios at Pegeia, located in western Cyprus. Being a popular pilgrimage place in Paphos, the site is home to three Christian Basilicas from 500-600 AD. The archaeological site opens 8.30 am to 5 pm from November to March, and 8 am to 6 pm from April to October.
The location of where the first Greeks settled in 1200 BC, the Maa settlement is located 10 kilometers away from the town of Paphos. This site is home to Cyclopean-style walls and is the perfect chance for visitors to learn more about and appreciate the Bronze Age structures and artifacts.
Built by the Romans during their empire, the mosaics depict ancient mythological scenes. Discovered in the 1960s after excavations, you can look at the beautiful mosaics in the House of Dionysos, the House of Aion, and the House of Theseus. These beautiful and detailed art pieces reflect the wealth of the Roman elite.
Temple of Aphrodite
Dedicated to the goddess of love, the temple of Aphrodite was built some time during the 12th century BC. Another popular pilgrimage site in Paphos, the temple was originally worshipped by the Archaeans before the Greeks followed. Believed to have been built by King Kinyras, this temple was visited by the Roman emperor Titus in 69 AD. Following its outlaw by emperor Theodosius, people were prohibited from going, and after being used as a quarry site by the Byzantine empire, the temple gradually crumbled and became an ancient ruin. This site opens 7.30 am to 2.30 pm on weekdays, and 9 am to 4 pm on weekends.
St. Paul’s Pillar
Believed to the site where St. Paul was tied up and punished by the Romans, St. Paul’s Pillar was a place of worship for many Christians in the area. This is a must-see for anyone interested in historical religious architecture.
Tombs of Kings
Dating back to the 4th century, the stone carved tomb is the burial site of aristocrats and high ranking officials. This site is part on the UNESCO world heritage list, and although grave robbers took most of the treasure, the tombs are still worth a visit for their astonishing underground chambers, some of which look like actual houses. If you’re interested, you can visit this place any day between 8 am to 5 pm. If you happen to visit between April to October, you can stop by the Tombs of Kings a little bit later.
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