Cyprus: City of Pafos - Part 3

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Cyprus: City of Pafos - Part 3

At Limeniotissa you can find the ruins of an early Christian Basilica. These ruins date back to the Christian period and possibly even to the beginning of the 5th century. It originally comprised three aisles divided by two rows of marble columns, a single apse, a narthex and atrium. The floors were paved with brilliantly coloured mosaics in geometric patterns. The basilica was destroyed during the Arab raids of the 7th century and a smaller version was rebuilt in the 10th century. However ,it was finally destroyed by an earthquake in 1159.

The Tombs of the Kings are one of the major archaeological attractions of Paphos. These monumental underground tombs carved out of the solid rock date back to the 3rd century BC and some are decorated with Doric pillars. High ranking officials rather than kings were buried there, but the magnificence of the tombs gave the locality its grand name.

Early Christian Basilica St Paul’s pillar at Chrysopolitissa church was built in the 13th century over the ruins of the largest Early Byzantine basilica on the island. St Pauls pillar is situated in the church courtyard, where according to legend the Apostle was flogged. After this, he then converted the Roman governor Sergius Paulus to Christianity.

House of Dionysos, House of Theseus, Housee of Aeon, House of Orpheus.

The mosaics of these houses, date from the 2nd to the 5th century AD. The first house was discovered accidentally by a farmer in 1962. The villas belonged to noblemen and the mosaics are considered among the finest in the Eastern Mediterranean. They depict scenes from Greek mythology and are considered masterpieces of mosaic art. Some of the mosaics at the house of Dionysos depict the god of wine, while that of Theseus depicts the classical Greek mythology hero brandishing a club against the Minotaur. The mosaics are a stop on the Aprhrodite cultural route.

The Paphos Odeon is a small 2nd century AD odeon built entirely of well hewn limestone blocks. It is now used regularly for musical and theatrical performances. Nearby are the remains of the ancient city walls and the Asklepion, a building dedicated to the god of Medicine Asklepios. There are also the remains of the roman Agora.

Saranta Kolones Fortress is a Frankish castle that was built by the Lusignans, in the early 13th century on the site of a previous Byzantine castle and was destroyed by an earthquake in 1222.

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Page added on: 9 June 2018
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