Places to visit in Пафос

Paphos Historic places and a short shopping. My trip of Nov 26, 2018


A spontaneous walk through the city told the legends of ancient churches and the history of the Jewish mother, who became the patron saint of the ancient Roman catacombs. Also, the city’s biggest mole was beautifully decorated for Christmas, there was a very beautiful ceramic workshop and the revelation that the most delicious meat dish on the island is connected with theft. It was wonderful adventure! Translated with Google Translate

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
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6.23 km
6h 40 m
Places with media
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We happened to be in Paphos by chance. Cheap to hesitate to turn up to say at what price tickets from Tel Aviv, and, here we are here. This is not our first trip to Cyprus, but the first thorough visit to Paphos. Modern Paphos is divided into two parts: the upper part is the commercial center, and lower Kato-Paphos contains the main archaeological sites, as well as most hotels and taverns. Here is a bank where you can exchange currency. To our surprise, familiar in other cities, there are no currency exchange offices in Paphos. Interestingly, maybe this situation is generally in Cyprus? Translated with Google Translate

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Local authorities seem to be investing a lot of money to improve this part of Kato Paphos, which brings together hotels, bars and restaurants along the coastal strip for several kilometers. The newly built promenade and long coastal path with beautiful views - perfect for a morning or evening walk. Paphos was named the European Capital of Culture in 2017 along with Aarhus in Denmark. The time was pre-Christmas and it was very unusual to see New Year's toys on ficus and olive. Translated with Google Translate

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Panagia Theoskepasti is a church dedicated to the Holy Mother of God. The word Panagia itself denotes the Virgin Mary. And here, the compound word “Theoskepasti” comes from the Greek word “Teos” and “skepazo”, which means “God” and “curtain”. This name is connected with the tradition, according to which, in 649, when Arabs were raided by Paphos, only the Temple of the Most Holy Mother of God standing on a hill, which “curtained” the enemy's gaze from a dense cloud, survived. Since that time, the church has been given the nickname God-hooded Teoskepasti. Translated with Google Translate

But not only then the church was saved by the cloud. It is said that by the end of the 11th century, when the Crusaders began to lose Cyprus, in each battle, the church was covered with dark clouds and became invisible. Ancient icons are kept in the church. One of them is the icon of the Virgin in a silver frame. They say that it was written by Saint Luke, the evangelist. Translated with Google Translate

The house in which the expedition of archaeologists was located during the excavations of an old church complex on the island. Translated with Google Translate

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The church of Ayia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa was built around 1500 AD. in place of a small Latin church, which, in turn, was built on the site of an ancient temple, destroyed in 59 AD during the earthquake. At the turn of the XV and XVI centuries, the Lusignan dynasty, which ruled Cyprus since the days of the crusades, after the conquest of the island by Richard the Lionheart and the transfer of the island to the Templars, was finally interrupted. The reason for this was the death of Jacob III. His mother Caterina Cornaro left Cyprus and settled in Italy. The island was ruled by advisors of the Republic of Venice. Translated with Google Translate

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The Latin Church or the Gothic Church lies north of the early Christian basilica of Chrysopolitiss. Its foundations were discovered during the excavations of the Department of Antiquities between 1968 and 1970. It is believed that this was the Latin cathedral of the Paphos of the Lusignan dynasty. It was probably built at the end of the 13th or the beginning of the 11th centuries AD. and was restored in the middle of the XVI-th century. Translated with Google Translate

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After the Turkish invasion in 1570, this church became the Byzantine Cathedral of Kato (Lower Town) of Paphos. It remained so for centuries, until, as they say in English sources, “by the kind permission of Metropolitan Chrysostomos, Metropolitan Paphos”, who is now the metropolitan of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in Cyprus, the Anglican Church and the Latin Church did not receive this old building for the use of the Anglican community of Paphos and Cyprus. The Orthodox Church still uses this building for special occasions. Translated with Google Translate

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In the early Ottoman period, the church was abandoned and gradually collapsed. The medieval church was divided by three naves with two rows of rectangular columns. Nephas ended with three semicircular apses. About half of the northern and southern walls were set aside for the chapels, which contained the burials of representatives of the ruling dynasty and noble knights. Four statues of angels made of limestone were found. They are dated to the 16th century, and are currently in the Paphos District Archaeological Museum. Translated with Google Translate

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The pillar or column of St. Paul. According to local tradition, people from Paphos tied St. Paul to a pole and beat him with whips thirty-nine times. Surprisingly, medieval travelers do not mention this pillar or column, but only describe the underground prison of the Apostle. According to the Acts of the Apostles, Barnabas, Paul, and Mark visited Paphos in 45 AD during their first missionary journey to Cyprus. In Paphos, the then capital of the island and the residence of the Roman ruler, the apostle Paul preached Christianity. The Roman governor of Cyprus, Sergius Paul, converted to this new religion, began the Christianization of Cyprus. Thus, this church is often known as the "Church of St. Paul." Translated with Google Translate

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The Department of Antiquities of Paphos, under the leadership of Afanasios Papageorgiu, excavated the church from 1971 until 1989. It turned out that this church was one of the largest early Christian basilicas in Cyprus and was the first episcopal church of Paphos from the end of the 4th century to its destruction in the 7th century. It was erected on the periphery of the Roman city center, north-west of the eastern Roman city gates and south of the Hellenistic part of the city. Earlier Roman buildings were used in the construction of the basilica. Basically, they brought material from a nearby theater, which was not used at that time. During the first Arab raids, some destruction of the basilica occurred, and by the end of the 7th century it was turned into a mosque. Muslims' building activity is marked with inscriptions in Arabic, preserved on the columns of the central nave. These are appeals to Allah for fallen Muslim warriors. These columns survived in spite of the complete destruction of the building during the earthquake of 685 AD. After the final destruction and oblivion of this huge early Christian complex, it was turned into a quarry, where they prepared building material for reuse in the construction of secular structures. Furnaces were built for the disposal of marble architectural fragments in lime. Only after the crusading conquest of the island, the church was revived again. Translated with Google Translate

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Turkish time in Cyprus is marked by the termination of relations with the European world and the development of Ottoman civilization. One such example is the construction of bath complexes. The largest, called Loutra, was built to the north of the complex of ancient churches. A large city market was also created there. Here you can see only a small "local" bathhouse with characteristic semi-domed stone with holes. Such construction allowed to keep the temperature inside the bath. Translated with Google Translate

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Another Turkish "talent" to the city. This is a system of urban fountains with drinking water. Such fountains "Sibil" were built on important urban intersections. They received water from the aqueduct, and citizens could draw water for domestic needs. It is noteworthy that in the middle of the 19th century (the year of construction or restoration of the sibil), ancient Byzantine capitals were used as decorations. They are clearly visible at the base of the sybil. Translated with Google Translate

Ancient Greek Paphos Theater. The fact that he is Greek is evidence of its construction - it is carved along the side of a hill. Paphos in Greece had several theaters. The stones of this theater were used for the construction of churches in Byzantine times. The Turks built a watchtower at the highest point of the hill above the theater. Translated with Google Translate

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An old pistachio tree with numerous cloth patches tied to branches can be seen from afar and attracts attention. It grows over the ancient catacombs of Paphos. Such ancient, that even the story connected with them, occurred over a hundred years before the birth of Jesus and the emergence of Christianity. We are talking about Solomonia and her seven sons, recognized as saints in the Christian tradition, despite the fact that they were fervently religious Jews and did not know anything about Jesus or Christianity. Translated with Google Translate

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It was during the reign of the Greek king Antiochus in Jerusalem. He brutally planted the Greek culture, abused the temple in Jerusalem and demanded the worship of pagan gods from the Jews. The seven disciples of Elazar — all the children of Solomei (Solomonia) were martyred before the eyes of their mother, but did not deny the Jewish god. Solomonia herself died of grief. After these tragic events, the Jews, led by Judas Maccabee, raised a revolt against the Greeks and overthrew the hated regime, with the result that the Jewish calendar is the holiday of Hanukkah. Translated with Google Translate

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In Cyprus, Paul preached and Christianity appeared on the island long before it became the religions of the rulers of the empire. Ancient stories about Salome and her seven sons, apparently impressed so much by early Christians, who were repeatedly persecuted by the Roman authorities, that the image of the mother and her tortured sons created a belief that the events took place in these ancient caves. The cult began to develop rapidly, and not only did early Christians live here, but they also created an underground church. Salome began to be honored as an intercessor and healer, and the source of water became a miracle. Today, people leave cuts of tissue with requests for healing, and the holy water of the source cures eye diseases. They say it is transparent to such an extent that it is not visible. Translated with Google Translate

The catacombs in these places have been known since ancient times. Stone was carved here for the construction of Paphos. Local tradition says that the bones of Saint Salome are kept in the catacombs. Although, historically it is known that the relics of the seven martyrs are kept in the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Cologne, and the relics of Salome in the Istanbul Cathedral of St. George. Translated with Google Translate

Here the natural processes occurring with rock are clearly visible. Weathering causes horizontal, occasionally "scrolling" strips - notches. And erosion leads to the breeding of the rock on the walls from top to bottom, creating a sort of hanging cap. Translated with Google Translate

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Ancient stone masons used malleable rock and carved building material in denser and harder rock of lower layers of sandstone. It is light in processing and relatively dense. At the same time, the upper layer — so fragile that it is simply washed out with water — was not used. First left the "columns" that supported the roof from the collapse. Then, when they realized that the ceiling of such a cave was strong enough, they carved the column itself. Translated with Google Translate

Career development was carried out simultaneously in several places. Then they connected, and turned out the room. Often in the room led stairs due to the difference in the level of the floor. Sometimes there were voids in the breed itself. In order not to work in the dark, used oil candles. On the wall is visible a carved niche for such a candle. Translated with Google Translate

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In 2015, the archaeological faculty of the University of Avignon under the guidance of Dr. Claire Balandier together with the Department of Antiquities of Paphos, in the framework of the project “Paphos 2017, European Capital of Culture”, conducted excavations on top of a hill, around the Hellenistic mosaic floor. He once decorated the "banquet room" of a rich house. Such a distinguished Roman house was a vivid example of the Roman building of a hill at the turn of the first century before the new and first century of the new era. The construction was carried out by decree and at the expense of the support of the city by the emperor Augustus, after the devastating earthquake. It was a prestigious area, and under the houses in the ancient Greek catacombs, they began to accumulate water and use the ancient structures as private reservoirs and reservoirs.

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On the catacombs you can walk, here is surprisingly clean and well maintained. Translated with Google Translate

The largest and apparently the only shopping center of Paphos attracted us with the opportunity to partially fill in what was left at home during the sudden gatherings. Translated with Google Translate

The shopping center turned out to be very beautiful and again surprised by the New Year's beauty in the midst of sunny autumn or Indian summer. Translated with Google Translate


Very beautiful ceramic workshop and shop. I managed to talk a bit with a female ceramist - the hostess and artist. Photographing in the workshop itself is impossible, therefore only outside. It turned out that she was from Hungary. Her "Europeanness" was felt in her works. Translated with Google Translate

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Traditional local tavern. Here they bake and bake many dishes in a special oven. Such stoves are business cards of "real" taverns. This oven is used for various purposes, including for baking bread, but its most important purpose is cooking kleftiko. This is baked young lamb, which stews in the oven for several hours, and the oven door is not just closed, but smeared with clay. By the way, the word kleftiko and kleptomania comes from one root - clefthos - a thief. And it is connected with the fact that only a hundred years ago, not everyone could get their own goat or lamb in Cyprus to bake on fire and feed the entire family, and people simply stole goats and lambs from rich “bourgeois”. And in order not to be caught red-handed, they went into the mountains and dug holes in the ground, in which they baked their prey under tightly walled clay lid, so that neither the smoke nor the smell. Thus was born the Kleftiko dish, for the sake of which the oven exists today. Over time, kleftiko became the property and coastal areas, although the main product here is fish. Whether they cook fish in the oven and how, I will find out later :) Translated with Google Translate

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