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Paphos

Paphos
Paphos is an archeological site from Antiquity. It has been inhabited since the Neolithic Age. In ancient times it was known for its Aphrodite-cult: the Myceneans - the rulers of Cyprus at the time - erected temples for this fertility goddess.

The UNESCO-awarded site consists of numerous places of architectural and historical meaning: villas, palaces, theatres, forts, tombs and mosaics.

Year Decision Comments
1980 Inscribed Reasons for inscription
1979DeferredUntil more detailed info is available of possible adverse impact on sites of tourism development
1979DeferredBureau - Need more info



Visit May 2001

Modern Paphos is a beach resort as there are so many in the Mediterranean. It's an unlikely place to find treasures of the past, treasures that are carefully being unearthened. The most spectacular findings are the Tombs of the Kings, graves that are set up like houses. There's a strong Egyptian connection here, and also the comparison with Petra (Jordania) has been made. Only a few hundred meters from there, the most beautiful mosaics I have ever seen have been discovered. We're not talking about a few colored stones here and there, but about the floors of whole rooms and even of one total house. An amazing sight. line

Reviews

Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
In 1984 there was still in force the boat service Heraklion – Limassol – Haifa.
Upon disembarking in Limassol the first thing that I did was to hitchhike to Paphos, where I arrived a couple of hours later, crossing the British territory of Akrotiri. It was dark, I was tired, and so I opened my sleeping bag in the tiered rows of benches of the Odeon Amphitheater and slept placidly.
I do not know now but 30 years ago the site was unprotected.
I woke up in the morning, when a group of tourists came in. There were French, so I followed the group and could learn from the explanations of the guide about the history of Paphos and the legend involving Aphrodite.
After that didactic explanation of the site I walked to Paphos downtown and visited the castle and other tourists’ attractions, I had breakfast and even made an excursion to the Baths of Aphrodite. At about midday I left hitchhiking to Nicosia to cross the next day to the other side of the island, to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Date posted: April 2014
John Booth (New Zealand):
Another part of this WHS is the Sanctuary of Aphrodite near Kouklia village, just off the highway between Paphos and Limassol. This contains ruins of an ancient temple complex.
Date posted: January 2014
Assif Am-David (Israel):
Paphos is a very touristy city on the Western coast of Greek Cyprus. It features abundant huge restaurants and English pubs which makes it lack any integrity it might have had. The findings for which Paphos got its nomination are of varying significane and quality. Of utmost beauty are its wonderfully preserved mosaics which are the most beautiful ones I've ever seen. They are of such artistic quality that they can be appreciated as art and not only for their historic importance. The other findings in the archaeological park and the nearby port and castle are much less interesting. Another well-known attraction is the Tombs of the Kings (not far to reach by foot). These catacombs are easily accessible and beautifully located along the shore. The old basilica is also worth a visit. What I found less appealing were the caves and Agia Solomoni catacomb which are surprisingly neglected and not that welcoming. The upper town (Ktima) is nice for a short stroll but nothing more.
Date posted: May 2009
Jacqui Sherratt (England):
I recently had the experience of viewing the mosaics at Paphos in the snow! I had the benefit of seeing the true colours and found it incredible that they were laid 2,000 years ago. The whole scale of the site was amazing and well worth a future visit. Having the amphitheatre to myself, as everyone else had been put off by the weather, truely was an inspiring experience!
 


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