Situated on the south-west coast of Cyprus, Paphos and the surrounding area including Palai-Paphos (modern Kouklia), are rich in history dating back to the days of the Trojan Wars.
Once the Roman capital of Cyprus and now regional capital, Paphos was famous throughout antiquity both for its association with the cult of Aphrodite and the spread of Christianity. Its historic importance and ancient remains have secured the sites of Palai-Paphos and Nea Paphos a place on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list.
These attractions and many more attractions, are within a short drive of Aphrodite Hills
The Paphos Castle
The Paphos Castle, originally a Byzantine fortress erected to protect the harbour, was rebuilt by the Lusignans in the 13th century, dismantled by the Venetians in 1570 during the Ottoman invasion and rebuilt by the Ottomans after they captured the island in the 16th century. During its long history, it has seen use as a fortress, a prison and even a warehouse for salt under British colonial rule. A landmark symbol of the Paphos region, it was declared an ancient monument in 1935.
The Castle acts as a dramatic backdrop for cultural events staged in the square in front. These include the Paphos Aphrodite Festival www.pafc.com.cy, which each September presents international opera with world famous artists.
Geroskipou Museum of Folk Art
The name of Geroskipou village comes from the Greek word “Ieros Kipos”, the Sacred Garden of Aphrodite. A fascinating collection of Cyprus folk arts and crafts gathered together in the house known as Hadjismith. This fascinating museum occupies the House of Hadjismith, a traditional 19th century home of great architectural and historical importance. Built of stone with two paved courtyards and a covered terrace, it is one of the first vernacular buildings to be declared an ancient monument.
The museum contains folk art from Paphos district and other regions of Cyprus, dating from the 19th century and early decades of the 20th, much of it displayed in settings reflecting a peasant house of the period.
Due to its architectural and historical importance, the “House of Hadjismith” is one of the first buildings of folk architecture to have been declared an ancient monument. The Department of Antiquities acquired half of the house in 1947-1948 and the other half in 1974. After systematic restoration, the building was converted into a folk art museum, which has been open to the public since 1978. In order to extend the museum by including the ruined buildings, which in the past had formed an integral part of the same mansion, a major project of restoration work and reorganization has been undertaken.
The ethnographic material exhibited in the museum of Geroskipou is dated to the 19th and the first decades of the 20th centuries and comes from several areas of Cyprus but mainly from the Paphos district. Many items are exhibited in rooms specially arranged to represent typical rooms of a traditional peasant house.
The house is located in the village of Geroskipou, 3 km east of Paphos.
Tel: +357 26240216 for opening times and entrance charges.
Paphos Mosaics and Odeon
The mosaics of Paphos, dating from the 2nd to the 5th century AD, are considered to be among the finest in the Eastern Mediterranean. Their depictions of scenes from Greek mythology make them a must-see attraction.
Paphos Odeon, a small 2nd century Odeon built entirely of well-hewn limestone blocks, lies at Kato Paphos – the heart of the Paphos tourist area and is used for summer musical and theatrical performances. Nearby are the remains of the ancient city walls, the Roman Agora and a building dedicated to Asklipeios, the Greek god of medicine.