Kato Paphos Mosaic & Kings Tombs

There are many archaeological sites in Cyprus, and we normally love to explore them, but with the heat we left most of them for maybe another visit to Cyprus. The site of Kato Paphos was the one we decided to visit anyway, so we went there in the morning, which didn’t help much concerning the heat but for sure was worth it. We were fascinated by the elaborate mosaics, which reminded us a lot of the Zeugma mosaics in Turkey.

The site dates from prehistoric times through the Middle Ages. Among the most significant remains discovered thus far are four large and elaborate Roman villas: the House of Dionysos, the House of Aion, the House of Theseus and the House of Orpheus, all with superb preserved mosaic floors. The sizes of the villas are impressive, and the outstanding mosaic floors tell a story of a town with very wealthy inhabitants.

Theseus Mosaic

Nea Paphos was probably built by Nicocles, the last king of Paphos, at the end of the 4th century BC. By the beginning of the 2nd century BC, it became the capital of the island, replacing Salamis at the east coast of Cyprus as the most important town on the island.

We also came past the ruins of a castle, where obviously remains of the ancient town had been reused.

Granit columns – where did they come from?
Marmol pedestals of columns reused in the castle

A little bit further west, lies the necropolis of Paphos, also called “The Tombs of the Kings” but no kings were buried here, the name comes from the magnificence of the tombs.

The underground tombs, many of which date back to the 4th century BC, are carved out of solid rock, and are thought to have been the burial sites of aristocrats and high officials up to the third century AD. They have columns and resemble houses of that time.

We are now ready for another beach, which we found further west – more soon!

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