An Archaeology Lover’s Guide To Touring Paphos
Posted on November 23, 2012 by sguese
Paphos is a dream for those that don’t mind a little dirt and dust to dive into the lives of the city’s past. While Paphos does boast a tourist center, it balances with a calmer area of town, littered with lovely colonial buildings, museums and fine dining. However most are in search of the ancient or merely just the old throughout Paphos’ many archaeological sites. While most can be in the Paphos Archaeological Park, there are plenty of other archaeological treasures to uncover in this town on Cyprus’ western coast.
Also within the Paphos Archaeological Site is the Hrysopolitissa Basilica. The space is home to one of the largest religious structures in Paphos. Today only the foundations of a Christina basilica built in the 4th century can be seen. The basilica was later destroyed during Arab raids in 653. Visitors can still make out the mosaics and green marble columns of the basilica. Hrysopolitissa Basilica is also home to the so-called St. Paul’s Pillar where the saint was allegedly tied and scourged 39 times.
Most come to the Paphos Archaeological Site to admire the many intricate and colorful mosaics throughout several former homes. Located in the southern section of the site, visitors will stumble upon the House of Dionysus. The former residence to the wealthy contains exquisite mosaics. A large number of the mosaics feature the god of wine. The House of Dionysus is easily the largest and best-known complex on the site. The house of Aion is also worth a look for its mosaic display hailing from the 4th century.
Saranta Kolones Fortress
One of Paphos’ other archaeological wonders is the Saranta Kolones Fortress. The Lusignans originally built the remains of the medieval fortress in the 12th century. An earthquake in 1222 would destroy the fortress. However today visitors can use their imaginations to envision the four huge corner towers that once stood their ground here.
Tombs of The Kings
If you hire a car in Paphos, you will want to head for the Tombs of the Kings. The Unesco World Heritage Site is the main attraction in town. The space is home to a set of well-preserved underground tombs and chambers used from the third century B.C. to the third century A.D. The title comes not from its function as housing the remains of kings but rather members of the higher social classes used the tombs. The Tombs of the Kings comprises of seven excavated tombs. They are unique to Cyprus as they boast a peristyle court structure, largely influenced by Egyptian architecture.
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