Second SEE WorldHeritage Youth Forumin SerbiaLet us learn important informationabout the ancient culture ofPaphos-Cyprus
An island full of ancientmonumentsPaphos has been inhabited since theNeolithic period. It was a centre of the cultof Aphrodite and of pre-Hellenic fertilitydeities. Aphrodites legendary birthplacewas on this island, where her temple waserected by the Myceneans in the 12thcentury B.C. The remains of villas,palaces, theatres, fortresses and tombsmean that the site is of exceptionalarchitectural and historic value. Themosaics of Nea Paphos are among themost beautiful in the world.
The Tombs of the Kings,in Kato Paphos, is amonumental structurecarved out of solidrock with some tombsdecorated with Doricpillars. Spread over avast area, theseimpressiveunderground tombsdate back to the 4thcentury BC. Highofficials rather thankings were buriedhere, but themagnificence of thetombs gave thelocality its name.
The house of Dionysos..The remains of this splendid Roman villa were discoverednear the harbour in 1962. The house has been given itsmodern name because of the frequency with which thegod of wine, Dionysos, is depicted in its floor mosaics.This site, like many others in Paphos, is included byUNESCO in the “World Heritage” list. Built in the thirdcentury, the villa had more than forty-four rooms, whichwere built around a peristyle atrium. With a floor area oftwo thousand square metres, this was almost certainlythe house of a very wealthy citizen. It was destroyed inthe fourth-century earthquakes. During the constructionof a roof over the mosaics in 1964, a broken amphorawas found in the villa. It contained 2,484 Ptolemaicsilver coins, the richest treasure ever found in Cyprus.
The ancient Amphitheatre..As todays musicconservatories cultivateand dramatic art, so theancient academies werebuildings where heperforms music gamesand competitions diction.The Odeon of Paphos,built in the early firstcentury AD, seemsstopped operating duringthe fourth century, whenPaphos was destroyedby the earthquake of thatera.
Church of Agia Paraskevi..The church of Agia Paraskevi is located in the villageof Geroskipou. It is considered to be an extremelysignificant example of Byzantine architecture datedto the 9th century. It has not yet been establishedwhether the church stands on the ruins of anancient temple dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite.According to tradition, the name Geroskipouderives from the sacred gardens of the goddess,which were located to the south of the villagetowards the sea, at the point where the ancientpilgrims began their journey to the sanctuary ofPalaipafos. It is quite possible that the church wasoriginally dedicated to Timios Stavros. Nowadayshowever, it is dedicated to the Christian martyr Agia
A small domedtetraconch is affixedon the southeasternend of the church.The tetraconcheswere widely usedduring the EarlyChristian period,either as martyries oras baptisteries.Probably during the19th century, thechurch’s west wallwas demolished andthe church wasextended. Theoriginal entrances tothe church wereprobably located onthe west wall.
Some of the frescoes inside thechurchIn the interior, the churchof Agia Paraskevi isdecorated with wall-paintings dated to variousperiods, from the 8th-9th,10th, 12th up to the 15thcentury. During the courseof cleaning and restorationwork on the survivingfrescoes by theDepartment of Antiquitiesin the period between1974-1977, a monochromereddish cross of an earliertype was revealed, painteddirectly on the stone, onthe south wall of the northaisle. This type of cross isusually dated to the Early
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