Today, I want to take us back to Cyprus again. One cannot visit Cyprus without looking into their ancient history which can be traced back to 10th millennium BC. We probably all know Cyprus is divided into Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot. This time, we only had time to have a brief visit to few places on the Greek side.
After a day at Larnaca, we rented a car and drove to west side of the island. The first stop was Kiti.
Angeloktisti Church, Kiti
This small church is the one attracted us to Kiti. The church was built in 11th century over the ruins of an Early Christian basilica. The name of the church means “built by angels” in Greek. The story behind it is ancient Kition moved to Kiti to escape from Arab invasion. They wanted to build a church dedicated to the Virgin. However, one day, the church foundation was moved to a different location overnight. Although the villagers didn’t know why, they decided to change the church location. As a miracle, they found many angels came to build the church at night. What a lovely story! Apart from this, one must-see in the church is their famous mosaic of Virgin Mary and Child between two angels, Michael and Gabriel. The mosaic was dated back to 6th century.
Paphos Archaeological Park
After we left Kiti, we went straight to Paphos for their archaeological park, a UNESCO historical site. Apparently, the park is still under excavation. There are four Roman villas are opened to the pubic, the House of Dionysos, the House of Aion, the House of Theseus and the House of Orpheus. All the villas have gorgeous mosaic floors, and they are very well preserved. This is something you wouldn’t want to miss. They are dated back to 2nd century AD to 4th century AD. They are so exquisite and beautiful. It took my breath away. I just can’t imagine how they made these mosaics back then.
If you ever go there, make sure you wear proper shoes since it’s a huge site. If you go in a sunny day, take at least a bottle of water and a hat with you. There are not many places you can hide from the sun.
As a city itself, Paphos is simply beautiful. It’s located on the southwest coast of Cyprus. You can find plenty of nice restaurants and bars at the harbour, and an old fort. Although it’s a bit too touristy for my liking, I still loved our visit. A walk along the harbour is highly recommended. 🙂
Timios Stavros Monastery
On the way back from Paphos, we turned north a bit because we wanted to see more ancient churches. However, the road was not very easy to drive. It took much longer than we expected. We only managed to stop at Timios Stavros Monastery and a small village nearby. Unfortunately, the monastery was closed on the day. However, only the mosaics from the archaeological park at Paphos was worth the trip for the day.
To be continued! xx