Paphos Archaeological Park
Not far from the town of Paphos in the 1960s, archaeological excavations of the ancient city began, which continue to this day. For all the time of excavations, the ruins of the villa of the rich, gentlemen, temples, dressed, agora, numerous mosaics were discovered. Nowadays, an open-air museum, the Paphos Archaeological Park, was made at the excavation site.
Among all the excavations, the ruins in the house of Dionysus stand out especially, it was from here that the excavations began. In 1962, mosaics were accidentally discovered during construction work. During the excavations, it turned out that the total area of the villa is more than 2000 m2. The house had 40 rooms and 15 floors with mosaics with a total area of 556 m2. A large number of household items were also found, which can now be seen at the Paphos Museum. The very first mosaics in the house of Dionysus are made of black, brown and white pebbles. Over time, the masters improved their skills and mosaics began to make cut stones of various shapes, glass of various colors, as well as marble.
It is believed that one of the first mosaics in Cyprus, depicting 2 dolphins, was performed in the 3rd century BC. In the archaeological park of Paphos there are many mosaics depicting heroes of myths and Greek gods. Among them is a mosaic depicting Narcissus, admiring its reflection, Poseidon showing the spring of Amino, Daphne, turning into a laurel tree, because she refused to be with Apollo. There are also many images of animals and birds in the archaeological park.
Most of the buildings in the Paphos Archaeological Park were damaged or destroyed by earthquakes in 3-4 centuries, as well as by raids of Arabs. Such buildings include the house of Theseus, so named after the mosaic depicting the battle of Minotaur and Theseus. It is believed that this was the house of the Roman proconsul, since it had more than 100 rooms, a large courtyard surrounded by economic and administrative buildings, and terma. No less interesting will be the mosaics and frescoes of the house of Eon and Orpheus.
In the archaeological park of Paphos, you can find the ruins of the Saranta Colones fortress, built in the 7th century to protect against Arab raids. The fortress had a difficult fate - it was seized and destroyed several times. In 965, it was built according to a new one, but the earthquake of 1222 greatly destroyed the fortress, after which it was no longer restored. The fortress was a double and rather formidable structure. The walls of the Saranta Colones were 3 meters thick, followed by an internal castle in which there were military and economic buildings: a bakery, a bathhouse, marble pools, a mill, a stable and even a chapel.
In addition, the park has a robe for 1200 spectators, the temple of Asclepia, agora, lighthouse, the Basilica of Panagia Limeniotissa. Fans of antiquity will have something to see in the archaeological park of Paphos.