Perhaps the most inspiring archaeological site in Cyprus, the ruins found at Kato Paphos were first found in 1962! The findings offered great insight on the island’s history at the time it was under the rule of the Roman Empire. Currently, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ruins found at the park go back more than 2000 years. Let’s take a look at 10 of the treasures found at the park.
- House of Orpheus is one of the four Roman houses found in the park which feature the impressive mosaics of Paphos. The most renowned mosaic is that of the Greek musician, Orpheus trying to soothe beasts with his lyrical music.
- House of Aion is a 4th century Roman Palace that is also home to impressive mosaic floors. The Greek gods, Dionysus and Apollo are depicted in most of the mosaics decorating the palace’s floors. The beautiful Cassopeia is also shown in the mosaic scenes as well as Aion, after whom the palace was named after.
- The House of Dionysus is the largest of the four Roman Palaces found at Kato Paphos Park. The palace was named after the Greek God Dionysus, known as the god of wine. The palace’s floors feature plenty of elaborate mosaic floors depicting the god of wine.
- House of Theseus is another Roman Palace where Roman royalty or high officials lived in the past. Besides the inspiring Roman architecture of the palace, the House of Theseus is also home to mosaic floors depicting Theseus preparing himself to battle with the terrifying Minotaur while Ariadne is watching over him. One of the mosaic scenes shows Achilles as an infant.
- The sits on a hilltop overlooking the park. The 2nd century amphitheatre is made up of 11 rows of seats and was the place where Romans used to gather to watch theatrical performances or battles in the past.
- The Agora (market) was the centre of the city kingdom’s commercial, social and political life. At first, the Agora was surrounded by towering granite columns which no longer exist.
- Towering stone-made Roman Walls and a moat once surrounded the ancient city kingdom during the Roman Empire. The purpose was to protect the city from enemy raids.
- The Palace of the Forty Columns was built by the Lusignan Kings in the 13th century, above the ruins of an older Byzantine Castle. The impressive structure was named after the forty columns used to build it. Currently, the columns are in ruins but the palace’s dungeons and vaults are still intact.
- Hellenistic Theatre is one of the most impressive sights found at Kato Paphos Archaeological Park as it stands on the slopes of a hill. Besides being a symbol of the thriving Hellenistic period, the theatre is also inspiring because of its structure as the seven rows of the semi-circled theatre were literally carved into the rock of the hill.
- The Asklipion Temple was built in honour of Asklipion, the God of Medicine. The temple was used as a place of worship and a primitive hospital. Asklipion’s students were renowned across the world for their healing abilities and skills.
So there you have it folks, ten remarkable sights you shouldn’t miss when holidaying in Paphos and its impressive Kato Paphos Archaeological Site.