Places to visit in Пафос

The historic city of Paphos


The archaeological park is the house of Eon, the house of Theseus, the house of Dionysus and numerous mosaics that take to the world of myths and legends, wondrous images and terrible demons, a world in which gods act like people and people are not afraid of gods. Translated with Google Translate

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Elizaveta Polotskaya (author)
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Entrance to the archaeological park. Ticket price 4.5 euros. Parking is free. The ancient city of Paphos goes back to the tales of Troy and it is believed that the founder of the city was the leader of the Arkadians Agapenor. Even before Agapenor, they worshiped the cult of the goddess of fertility, which became the prototype of Aphrodite. According to Greek tradition, Aphrodite was born from the foam of the sea right here in Paphos. Paphos is also famous for the fact that the Roman patrician Cicero ruled Crete here and from here. The Apostle Paul preached on Paphos. In the Middle Ages, the city was captured by Richard the Lionheart during his campaign to Jerusalem. Later they were ruled by the Lusignan dynasty - the founders of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

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Today in this 5th century Byzantine basilica there is a visitor center. Its historical name is the Basilica of the Holy Virgin Mary of the Gulf of Paphos. She was the patroness of sailors and maritime trade - the source of life of the city. In the 7th century during the Muslim seizure of the island it was destroyed and then in the 12th century during the crusades. Translated with Google Translate

The blooming of yellow chrysanthemums and blue blue sky filled the whole space with immense open space and it seemed that time had plunged into itself. Ahead lay the ruins of Greek cities, filled with myths familiar from school, and nature, as it were, complemented these plots. Translated with Google Translate

The house of Eon is so named because one of the central figures on the mosaic field is the god Eon - the god of eternity personifying justice. Translated with Google Translate

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In this house floor mosaics and partly frescoes are preserved. Plots of the mosaics - Cassiopeo's beauty match with nereids (by the way they say it was in Yafo - that near Tel Aviv 😊) another mosaic tells about the famous Leda - the Spartan queen charmed by Zeus, who in the image of a swan hurried to steal it. From this marriage, Helen the Beautiful was born and the Dioscuri twins. The third story depicted in the mosaic is the contest between Marcia and Apollo in the flute game. The young man played the ray of god, but god could not allow such, especially as the god Apollo. Here Marsyus died a martyr's death. How, nevertheless, the Greek gods are endowed with human vices! Translated with Google Translate

Pointer says that further we are waiting for the house of Theseus. Polish archeologists who excavated here in 1966 called this house at a difficult time for Cyprus, when, having only gained independence from England, the island was almost mired in a civil war between the Greeks and the Turks. The Poles called the house the house of Theseus, since the central mosaic depicts the duel of Theseus with the Minotaur. Translated with Google Translate

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By the way, the minotaur - the bull - one of the symbols of Cyprus. It is believed that the shape of Crete is similar to the skin of a bull. Even copper ingots were smelted here in the form of a bull skin. Well, the name of the island comes to us from the Latin cuprum - copper. The house belongs to the procurator of Cyprus. Apparently built in the 3rd century AD. Who knows, maybe at this place traditionally stood the house of another proconsul of Cyprus in the 51st year BC. The famous Cicero, who was not spared by the unrest after the death of Caesar and the great orator became a mockery of the crowd. Translated with Google Translate

The house of Theseus was one of the richest houses of Paphos. This is evidenced by its size and architecture. It was destroyed during the Arab invasion and was no longer restored. Translated with Google Translate

The house of Orpheus is named so because one of the mosaics depicts Orpheus playing the lyre. This house belonged to the noble Roman Titus Guy Restituta, as evidenced by the mosaic inscription on the floor in one of the rooms. Translated with Google Translate

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This small house was a haven for archaeological expeditions. He keeps in his guise the adventurism of the old days, the passion for discoveries and fame. But it turns out in archeology that the glory of the Greek gods, hidden by the earth for hundreds of years, overshadows the works of the researcher. Only Indiana Johnson (whose prototype was Sir Flinders Petrie - Francis Drake's great-great-grandson buried on Mount Zion in Jerusalem) managed to outshine the glory of the ancient pyramids. Translated with Google Translate

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The house of Dionysus is simply an exhibition of ancient mosaics and, most impressively, this vast territory and areas of ancient mosaics belong to the house of a wealthy Paphos from the 3rd century AD. There are two mosaics, when mythological creatures are located only in the center of the mosaic floor, while a geometric pattern fills a large area. One of the mosaics seems to be black and white. It depicts Scylla - a terrible sea creature. This is the oldest mosaic in Cyprus and it refers to the 3rd century BC. On the other, already Roman, in the center is Narcissus admiring himself. Translated with Google Translate

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In this room, the entire floor is covered with the plot of the Triumph of Dionysus. This is one of the largest rooms in the house, and it seemed to be a dining room or a ceremonial hall. Dionysus “trumped” his “campaign” to India — a plot clearly inspired by the Roman imagination. Nearby images of the Dioscuri brothers - Castor and Pollux - remember the myth of Leda and Zeus from the house of Eon? Yes, everything is connected in the world of gods, fairy tales and mysteries. The peacock is the most beautiful work in this mosaic, and Dionysus is seated on a chariot drawn by panthers. Translated with Google Translate

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One of the corridors of this beautiful house tells the story of Phaedra and Hippolyta. Fedra was the wife of Theseus, the king of Athens. He had a son from his first marriage - Hippolytus. And, oh, horror, Fedra fell in love with Hippolytus. But the faithful son rejected the father’s wife, and then the outcast woman slandered him in front of her husband. Husband - Theseus was angry at his innocent son - Hippolyta and he died by the will of Poseidon. And Phaedra, having learned about the tragedy, committed suicide. Here it is. Translated with Google Translate

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Another corridor and another unhappy love. History of Piram and Thisby. They loved each other and agreed to meet at the spring. But when he saw a lioness with a bloody handkerchief, Piram decided that his lover was no longer among the living and stabbed himself with a knife. She, having seen the lifeless body of her beloved, stabbed herself with the same knife. Somehow they are cruel in the corridors. This is probably not to run hither. Translated with Google Translate

Here around the central atrium (an open courtyard in the center of the villa) hunting scenes. No love or tragedy - just hunting. By the way, it was thought that for our world the hunting scene is a wonder. And then - a common thing. As for us the scene with iphone. Translated with Google Translate

How nice to go out after so many mosaics! The room is stuffy. Wooden canopy no air conditioning. For a long time there will not linger. And again around the excavations. Translated with Google Translate

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The caves and the surrounding areas appear to have been used as shrines of the gods. Something similar is in Banias in the north of Israel - there one of the temples to the god Pan was built in this way. Greek culture was large, its range was extensive, during its dawn it carried its achievements to the peoples of Asia, the middle and front east, and its traces are still visible today. How, probably, through the stony years, they will speak about the culture of the western civilization, which perished under the raids of the barbarians. Everything flows, everything changes, all vanity is vanity. On this tale and the end. Translated with Google Translate

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