Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Paphos and Kourion Tour, Cyprus

On Monday we took a bus tour to the southwest side of Cyprus to see Paphos and Kourion.  The first stop was at Kourion.

Κούριον was an important area during the Roman period when it was known as Curium.

The Greco-Roman theatre was excavated by the University of Pennsylvania from 1935 - 1950.

Above the theatre is the House of Eustolios which was excavated in 1933 and 1948.  The house was built in the late 4th or early 5th century.  The house had over 30 rooms and was occupied until the mid-7th century.

The next stop was Paphos, with a population of about 33,000, is the 5th largest city on the island.  Πάφος is is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Paphos Castle is located at the edge of the harbour.  Originally it was a Byzantine fort, built in the 7th century, but over the years it has been a fortress, a prison, and even a salt warehouse.

The House of Dionysus was the first house discovered in Paphos with mosaic floors.  The house dates back to the 2nd - 4th century.

The Narcissus mosaic is from the late 2nd - early 3rd century.

The mosaics in the House of Aion date back to the 4th century.

The House of Theseus dates back to the Roman period during the 2nd century.

Sarasota Kolones was a Byzantine castle that was most likely built at the end of the 7th century.  It was destroyed in 1222 by an earthquake.

Ayia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa Church was built around 1500.

In 45 AD, the Apostle Paul visited Cyprus as a missionary.  Before he converted the local Roman proconsul to Christianity, St. Paul ran in to trouble being a Christian missionary.  He was tied to this white pillar and flogged 35 times.

After Paphos we made a quick stop in Geroskipou.  Γεροσκήπου is home to about 7,000 people.  It's also home to Ayia Paraskevi which is a rare five-domed Byzantine church.

The town is also well-known for "lokum."  Turkish Delight is a confection of starch and sugar that is eaten in small cubes dusted with powdered sugar to keep it from clinging.  Some of the most common flavours are rosewater, organic, lemon, liquorice, pistachio, mint, cinnamon, and orange.

The Rock of Aphrodite is a popular tourist stop.  Legend has it that this is where the goddess Aphrodite was born.

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