The castle in Paphos harbor, it is also the medieval fortress of Paphos (in the harbor of Kato Paphos) is located on the western side of the harbor, was originally built as a Byzantine fortress, which protected the city harbor.
The fortress was built during the Frankish occupation in the XIII century. on the site of the Byzantine castle "Saranta Colones" ("forty columns"). It has only one entrance on the east side and very small windows. Its main part is a large square tower with a courtyard in the center. The Venetians destroyed the fortress in 1570 so that the Turks, who began the capture of the island, could not use it. According to the Turkish inscription above the entrance, the Turks rebuilt the fortress in 1780. Nearby are the ruins of the second fortress, which was probably built at the same time.
You can climb the roof of the castle, which overlooks the harbor. Also, the castle hosts the Aphrodite Pafos Aphrodite Festival every September.
Castle, rear view. From the shock of the waves, the walls twisted.
Time and cost of visiting
The fortress can be visited by paying 1.7 euros for entrance. Visitors have access to the castle throughout the day, and the roof is open for them, so you can make excellent memorable photos.
You can visit from 9 am to 6 pm - this is a summer mode of operation, in winter the working day is reduced by one hour.
Places of rest and cafes
How to get there
To visit these attractions, you should take bus number 610, which leaves the tourist area and get to the Harbou stop. The cost is 1.5 euros.
Another option is by taxi, but it is 3-4 times more expensive.
Absolutely free, you can go on foot to the right place, it takes no more than 15 minutes.
Not far from the harbor is a grandiose ancient structure: tombs are carved in the rocks of the famous Ptolemaic Factory hill specially for the burial of the aristocracy and the highest military ranks of the island.
The necropolis was used during the reign of the Romans. To be more precise, the construction of the necropolis began in the III century BC. e., and burials were carried out until the III century BC. e.
The tombs are called royal, although not a single king was buried there for the entire period of history. The construction looks so solemn that it seems that the tombs were indeed built for the royal people.
Some of the tombs are more reminiscent of small palaces with wide columned halls. Murals and stone carvings can also be seen on the walls of some rooms. And some tombs are a prototype of living quarters, where furniture and art objects are located.
For some time the royal tombs were used by Christians who escaped here from persecution. Over time, the tombs were looted and desolate, but since the 70s of the twentieth century, interest in them has again arisen, continuing to this day.
Mosaics of Paphos
Very often great finds are made randomly. This happened with the mosaics of Paphos.
In the early 60s of the last century, one of the local farmers, working on the field, discovered a unique thing - the remains of structures from the time of Roman rule. Subsequently, an archaeological park was created here, attracting the attention of lovers of antiquities from around the world.
Currently, three main discovered buildings are open for visiting - houses belonging to the rich and noble Romans (II-III centuries A.D.). Conventionally, they were called the houses of Aion, Dionysus and Theseus. These names of the house received thanks to the preserved mosaics that adorn the floor and walls of buildings. Each mosaic tells the story of one of the ancient gods or heroes.
Of particular interest is the house of Dionysus, where more than 500 square meters. In this way, unique mosaics depicting scenes from the life of the ancient Greek god of winemaking Dionysus, as well as the first people intoxicated by wine, have been preserved.
Port fortress of Paphos
On the western edge of the promenade, in the harbor of Kato Paphos, is one of the most interesting sights of Cyprus - port fortress. According to historical sources, this fortress was actively used by the great Alexander the Great.
The first military fortification was erected in the fortress by the Byzantines. It was a small castle with a single entrance, narrow windows, a large square tower and a small courtyard. At the beginning of the XIII century, the fortress was destroyed by an earthquake. Subsequently, it was restored by the Lusignans in the XIV century. They erected two towers to protect the city from the sea.
When the Turks tried to seize power on the island, the Venetians completely destroyed the fort so that the enemies could not use it.
But by the end of the XVI century, the Ottomans, who had occupied the city, erected a new fortress, which is still a decoration of the port. The defensive structure performed additional functions, being a prison and a warehouse for storing weapons and ammunition. During the reign of the British, the fortress served as a salt warehouse.
Ancient Odeon Theater
Odeon Theater is located nearby the famous villa of Dionysus. The construction was erected in the Hellenic era (II-III century BC), and subsequently completed by the Romans. Despite its age, the theater has been preserved quite well, although, like many buildings of that time, it was damaged by earthquakes.
The entire amphitheater is almost completely cut into a monolithic rock and only the lower portico is made of solid stone slabs. In the center is a wall (diameter of about 11 m).
The odeon was discovered in the early 70s of the last century, after which it was decided to restore the theater. Now in the Odeon - 12 rows for spectators, and earlier it could accommodate several thousand guests.
Today, the theater is not just a historical monument. It hosts cultural events that play an important role in the life of the city.
The ruins of the temple of Asklepion
Not far from the ancient city are the ruins of the temple of Asklepion, dedicated to the god of medicine and healing Asclepius, who, according to legend, was the son of a simple mortal woman and the god Apollo. In the art of healing, he reached such heights that he could even resurrect the dead.
The Asklepion complex includes several structures, the main of which consists of numerous terraces located one above the other. At the top of the main building, the main temple is located, which was the sanctuary of Asclepius. In addition, the middle of the terraces were turned into the temples of Apollo, revered by the inhabitants of Paphos.
The temple complex was also a kind of training center, which came not only for medical help, but also for the development of the science of treating people.
Some associate the name of Asklepion not with Asclepius, but with the famous doctor Hippocrates, who was born on the island of Kos in Greece, and believe that the temple was built in his honor.
Caves of the Martyr of Solomonia
An unusual tree attracts the attention of passers-by: cloth shreds are tied to the branches. A powerful tree trunk goes down to the cave of the martyr Solomonia. Here, in the 2nd century AD, during the time of bloody persecution, Christians hid, performing secret services. Instead of a strange tradition of tying shreds to a tree, it seems to me much better to sincerely pray to Saint Solomonia for his needs with the belief that the saints are still in heaven, hearing our requests.
Monastery of St. Neophyte
The existing monastery is located outside the city, at a distance of just over 10 km from the tourist area of Paphos. The monastery was founded in the XII century and is associated with an ascetic named Neophyte. The main monastery buildings date back to the 16th century, but ancient caves were preserved in which the saint labored. The monastery has a museum in which you can see the drainage of church items, ancient icons and pottery. More details in our material.
Translated from Greek, “pathos” means “passion” and “feeling”. It is the lofty feeling that overwhelms you when you enter the ancient land and feel the value and richness of the cultural heritage of this unique city. Paphos will captivate you with an abundance of beautiful and interesting places and will enchant you with beautiful natural monuments. When traveling around the city and exploring the sights of Paphos, learn how to be surprised, follow your intuition and preferences, and the city will certainly open up a hospitable hug for you and give you an unforgettable experience.