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Paphos - European Capital of Culture 2017


Surviving mosaic from antiquity


Steeped in ancient mythology, there’s no more evocative place to soak up the… sun than Cyprus’s richly romantic harbour town” - Fiona Hardcastle
And no wonder Paphos has this allure. Set in Southern Cyprus, with over 300 days of sunshine, and the warm blue waters of the south eastern Mediterranean Sea, Paphos has been a popular destination since the days of Antiquity.
It was also the centre of love, long before places like Rome or Paris – none for being the city of lovers. Paphos was famous in the ancient world for being the home of the Greek goddess of Love and Beauty, Aphrodite. It is said that Aphrodite was born in Paphos: 
She emerged from the foam of the sea at Pafos and went to Olympus accompanied by Eros and Pothos to claim her place among the assembly of the Gods. At Olympus they named her Aphrodite (born of sea-foam), Cypris (the land she first appeared). She was the goddess of beauty, joy and laughter, queen of all aspects of love, guardian of young girls and governess of the fertility of animals and plants. Her symbols included rabbits, sparrows, goats, pomegranates and apples.” – Visit Paphos
Being the centre of cult to this ancient and popular Greek goddess Paphos was also the capitol of Cyprus when it was under the Roman Empire, with a huge temple dedicated to Aphrodite.
And so history, myth and beauty is very much intertwined with the city.
Because of its long and rich history, the city contains a huge array of archaeological remains. One of the many archaeological wonders that still remain in Paphos and can be viewed is a Roman Governors palace with its fine mosaics. You can also see an ancient Amphitheatre, Early Byzantine Churches and with the crown jewel being the Kato Archaeological Site. This area contains an array of historical monuments’ and buildings going through out the history of Paphos – from antiquity to the Medieval Ages. It’s such a prize of rich history that the whole park is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can see get a glimpse of some of the lovely surviving mosaic’s on UNESCO’s website here.
Paphos was also the site where Paul the Apostle was whipped for spreading Christianity. The pillar that was used to punish St Paul still stand today – apparently behind a Debenhams store according to Fiona Hardcastle writing in the Telegraph.
Aphrodite's Rock, the mythical birth place of the Goddess of Love
However, over the centuries Paphos lost its prominence with the rise of Nicosia, and even when British colonial rule came in the 19th century, it wasn’t until 1974 that Paphos started to became a popular destination again.
The city of Paphos is actually comprised of two cities – the Old Paphos (Kato Paphos ) and the New City (Ktima).  The New City was built long ago, and was used as a port town since Roman Times. It is roughly 10km or so from the Old City. Together they make a “a schizoid whole” according to Lonely Planet, but is a gem of city, rich in archaeology:
the tourist centre, is blatantly geared towards English tourists, with the inevitable all-day English breakfasts and bars…The official Pafos Archaeological Site is the grand-slam sight… When you’re standing (relatively) alone here, surrounded by acres of history, a vast blue sky and the wild fennel and caper plants that grow on the Mediterranean’s edges, you feel a thousand years away from Guinness on tap.” – Lonely Planet
So, a city that is rich in culture & history, with sunshine weather almost all year round, and gorgeous Blue Flag beaches it is about time Paphos has gone up the ranks of one of the best places to visit in Europe, and having been selected European Capital of Culture for 2017 will no doubt cement into the minds of people that this lovely city can finally be seen for the gem that is.




Club Dance Holidays have these dancing trips in Paphos coming up in 2017:
6 nights Salsa in Paphos                                                               Monday 11th to Sunday 17th April
7 nights Ceroc Blaze in Paphos                                                    Sunday 24th April to Sunday 01st May
7 nights Line Dancing in Paphos with Maggie G!                          Sunday 06th to Sunday 13th November