Cyprus Real Estate

Pafos Archaeological Park

  • 04.01.2022
Share

Pafos is the city of myths and legends. Almost the entire old part of Pafos is an open-air museum with a huge number of ancient monuments. Ancient ruins of temples, villas, castles and other traces of antiquity can be found almost everywhere. Most of these sites can be found in the modern Archaeological Park of Pafos. The Park is located in the old town which is referred to as Kato Pafos.

Pafos Archaeological Park: History and Present

The buildings in this part of the city date back to different eras and cultures, ranging from the 2nd century B.C. to the Middle Ages. The monuments include Roman, Greek, Byzantine and Ottoman structures. Virtually all of the ancient monuments of Kato Pafos and its entire area belong to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The discovery of these monuments of Pafos happened by chance: a local farmer, while working in his field, found a small fragment of an ancient mosaic. It turned out to be a well-preserved floor covering of an ancient Roman villa. The news quickly spread among archaeologists and soon they were able to discover an entire ancient city. Work on some of the sites is still going on, but most of the monuments are already open to the public.

Learn more about the historical monuments of the Pafos Archaeological Park, how to reach it, when to visit it and what to see in the article below.

Pafos Archaeological Park: What to see

The Archaeological Park is home to some of the most famous landmarks not only in the city, but in the whole of Cyprus. Among the locations one must definitely visit are:

  • The Roman Villas. Four villas, which belonged to the wealthy citizens of old Pafos, were discovered during excavations. In their time the villas were truly impressive, with their size and wealth. It must be said that modern real estate in Pafos is equally luxurious and offers a wide range of different types of accommodation. Each of the Roman villas is named after the mosaics that have been preserved in it. The most famous and beautiful of the mosaics are in the house of Dionysus. There were also found a lot of household items, which are now exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of the city. The House of Theseus was discovered by archaeologists in 1966. It is the largest Roman villa on the island with over a hundred rooms. There are comparatively fewer mosaics in the House of Orpheus as most of the floors in it were of an earthen type. The northern part of the villa, which contained the thermae, is well preserved. Archaeological work is still underway in the house of Aeon. Many mosaics and wall frescoes have already been discovered.
  • Saranta Colones Castle. This fortress was built by the Byzantines in the 7th century and during its existence it defended the city from Arab attacks. The name is translated as "forty columns", as at the time of its existence the castle really had forty columns on its site. Today tourists can only see their bases or the remains lying on the ground.
  • Temple of Asclepius. The temple of the Greek god of medicine is now in ruins, but even in this form it looks striking. It is an entire complex with a square and terraces. During the archaeological excavations, archaeologists found a large number of medical devices, which made them believe that the temple was also a centre for medical training.
  • Amphitheatre. The Odeon Amphitheatre was built in the 3rd century. During its heyday the theatre had a roof, but over time its upper part collapsed. The amphitheatre has been recently reconstructed and in the summer it can accommodate over a thousand spectators at a time. It hosts theatrical performances, concerts, festivals and other cultural events. One of the most famous events taking place in the Odeon is the Odeon Choral Festival. Thus the Odeon is one of the few historical monuments to have reached modern times, still successfully performing its functions.
  • The Agora. The Agora was the name given to the market square of the city. It was the main square of the old Pafos. Unfortunately, in our days it is almost completely ruined. Only the ruins of numerous structures remind us of the ancient centre of the city.

The archaeological park of Pafos is also rich in other unique treasures. Find out how to get to this amazing place.

Pafos Archaeological Park: How to get there

The Archaeological Park is easily accessible from any part of Pafos as there are regular public transport services to the park. The closest station to the Park is 'The Harbour' which is the main bus station in Kato Pafos. This is the terminus of many bus routes such as the 603, 610, 611, 612, 615, 618, and 631.

It takes an average of three to four hours to see the sights in the park, as all the locations are far apart and accessible only by foot. Therefore, when holidaying in Pafos in the summer, it is worth choosing to visit the park in the morning or evening to avoid the midday heat. In winter, the park can be visited comfortably at any time of the day. Relatively close to the park are the Pafos beaches and you can combine a swim with a visit to the ancient monuments.

Upon entering the park, visitors are given a map of the sights locations, so you can explore them all on your own. There are paid tours in various languages, including Russian, for those who want to learn more about the antique monuments.

The Archaeological Park of Pafos is rightly considered to be the landmark of the town. The archaeological park is a must visit during your stay in Cyprus as it allows you to fully appreciate this amazing Mediterranean city.