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Free Walking tour at Paphos Town

Paphos - Sightseeing in Paphos

This Walking tour at Paphos Town is the ideal way to discover Paphos history

Paphos town walk is offered for free every Tuesday, by the Pafos municipality and is organised in collaboration with the CTO and the Cyprus Tourist Guides Association. It starts from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation Office, 3, Glastonos Street, Tel: 26 332841. Please do call in advanced in order to participate.

In an effort to get visitors acquainted with “Ktima” which is the newest part of the city of Pafos as opposed to New Pafos, the ancient Hellenistic and Roman Capital of Cyprus, the Pafos Municipality is organising a walking tour: Strolling around Ktima.

In a district like Pafos with a history of more than 7,000 years which offers a variety of archaeological sites from the Chalcolithic and early Bronze Age to the present, it is natural that the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Mosaics, the Tombs of the Kings and the Temple of Aphrodite at Kouklia, attract thousands of tourists to the area. Visitors though tend to ignore the upper part of Pafos Ktima (Pano Pafos) that is associated with the local everyday life of the population.

The tour aims to provide an overall picture of Ktima and how it evolved and developed from the late Byzantine and Medieval times to the present.

This walking tour will give visitors a better feel of the local life then and now, its year-round atmosphere, and a better understanding of Pafos’ continual cultural development. Ktima reflects the continuity in the cultural development of Pafos from Nea Pafos to Pano Pafos. Through historic references, linked with some very important historic phases including Medieval, Ottoman, British and modern times; one will be transported into the past but will also get better acquainted with the commercial centre of Pafos.

The tour starts with the Elias and Avgousta Malioti Park, the private garden of two impressive buildings that were built on the rock above it, reflecting the architecture of the first Manor houses of Ktima of the beginning of the 20th century. The garden was ultimately donated to the Pafos Municipality by the Maliotis family.

The one to the left is the old guest house, in which the British Colonial administrators stayed during the British period, which survived to be called the “Rest House”. To the right, the house of Dr Maliotis’ daughter, that now houses the Municipal Gallery exhibiting works of Pafian artists. Bought by the Municipality, it has been superbly restored with the donorship of the Leventis Foundation.

In the middle of the park is the picturesque Chapel of St. John the Forerunner, once a private chapel where a service takes place on 28th of August, the name day of the saint. At the south-west end of the park stands the contemporary Youth Centre of Pafos that blends the new with the old.

Further to the east within the park is a recent inadvertent discovery by the Antiquities Department of a Hellenistic tomb with rich finds that may change the chronological map of the cultural development of Ktima.

The tour goes past Mousallas, in a prominent position overlooking Nea Pafos, which shows the geographical relation of the Hellenistic and Roman Capital Nea Pafos to Ktima. An overview of lower Pafos and the World Heritage site is magnificent. The name Mousallas echoes the Ottoman period, where there was the Mous Allah mosque, which fell into ruin in the 1900s. There are plans to re-landscape the area into a recreation centre.

The tour goes past the religious centre of Pafos, the Agios Theodoros neighbourhood, which gets its name from the Agios Theodoros Metropolitan Church, the main point of reference in the area, and the Pafos Holy Bishopric, a 1910 building. The Church was built in 1896 on a smaller church, with further renovations in 1917 and 1923. Next to it one sees the memorial with the names of those associated with the conflicts the Pafians were involved in; the Balkan wars of 1821, the intercommunal conflict of 1964 and the Turkish invasion of 1974. Next comes the Byzantine Museum, which exhibits several rare examples of Byzantine art (12th-19th centuries) from the district of Pafos. The picture is completed by a tailor’s shop for religious vestments.

The tour passes by another neighbourhood of Ktima at the edge of “Exo Vrisi” (far away fountain) Street, which was the first path between Ktima and Kato Pafos. Its name suggests the presence of a fountain which in the past used to supply the neighbourhood with water. It is in the area of Exo Vrisi that the first British soldiers camped in July 1978.

In the same street, two important houses cover the complete history of Ktima between the late 19th and early 20th century; the Ethnographical Museum of Georgios Eliades and the house of Philippos Loizou. Its architecture with neoclassic elements opposite the building of the Ethnographical Museum with its architecture inspired by the colonial architecture, exhibits interesting every day items of the art and the rural life of the Pafos district. The tour passes from the typical narrow street of Filipos Antoniades, which ends at 25th March Street with houses from the 20’s opposite the bust of Costis Palamas, the Geek poet, in whose honour the Pafians have organized cultural events every year since 1951. One also sees the fountain of the ‘Sleeping Eros” which is a copy of the original 1st century statue now at the Cyprus Museum.

The tour continues to the Town Hall Square, the most important point of reference of Ktima. The Town Hall built within the Municipal Gardens, opposite the memorial column of 28th October 1940, put by Mayor Galatopoulos (1943-1953) to honour the resistance of the Greeks against fascism. Around it one sees the names of Pafians who lost their lives fighting the Germans.

The Town Hall was built, imitating the architecture of Parthenon, during Mayor Iacovos Iakovides tenure in 1955. The Doric columns are the craftsmanship of well-known stone carver Nicolas Tsdadiotis and opposite is the Municipal Library, another neoclassic building of the 1940s built when Galatopoulos was Mayor.

On Grivas Digenis Avenue there is a whole complex of schools; Gymnasiums, Lyceums and an Elementary school. Their architecture is also a reflection of the national aspirations of the Pafians to follow the ideals of Hellenism and the struggle for national restitution and union of Cyprus with Greece; a prevailing political demand of the Cypriots between 1900 and 1960. The Gymnasium of Nicolaos Nicolaides is the oldest one built in 1928 with the generous donation of Mayor Nicolaides. The Lyceum of Archbishop Makarios III is the newest one built in 1960 using various donations. In its yard ones sees a memorial to the ‘fighter student’ and on the other side of the avenue the statue of Evagoras Pallikarides reminds of the struggle against the British of 1955 – 1959. Among the other schools, is the Iacoveion Gymnasium founded in 1920s by Anzoulatos, the progressive Bishop of Pafos, next is the classical style built entrance ‘Popylaea’ that leads to the athletic centre with Corinthian capitals hand-carved by a well-known craftsman of Pafos in 1931 and then the Demetreion Elementary School, named after an expatriate Pafian who donated it to his home town in 1928.

Further to the right towards the commercial centre, the Pafos Police Head Quarters with a distinctive style of British Colonial architecture introduced in 1878 by the new ‘masters’ of the island.

Used now mainly as car park is Kennedy Square - the old “artimathkies” square, the central square of Pafos where until the mid-90s, all the political rallies were held. To the south of the square, opposite the traffic lights one sees lovely neoclassic houses, one of which was the Pafos Palace Hotel - a centre for receptions and dances in the past - and to the west, the Titania one of three cinemas of Pafos of the 40s, with the old film projector in its entrance as a reminder of bygone times.

The walk goes to Archbishop Makarios Ave. the main shopping street, with a variety of modern shops and interesting buildings of the 20s; including the Hellenic Bank and the barber shop that has been there since 1930s; a sign of resistance to development.

The tour continues to Agios Kendeas Church which in 1923 replaced an old small building. This church played an important role in the founding of the first schools at Ktima in the late 19th early 20th century. Agios Kendeas came to Cyprus from the Syro-Palestinian coast, stayed in a cave overlooking the sea where he became a hermit, known as a curer of physical diseases.

The old colonial buildings of the Post Office, the Old Court House and the Land Registry in 1920 replaced the old administrative buildings of the Ottoman times which were in the area of the Police station. They are examples of British colonial architecture built by the Public Works department in their effort to introduce a uniform architectural style of public buildings all over Cyprus by incorporating some local architectural elements.

Opposite the Bus Station is the first ‘kafenion’/coffee house, an important point of reference of the social and economic life of Ktima. Its name “Sikamia” or Sycamore Tree coffee house is a flashback to the times when the Pafos district was the most important silk-producing area of Cyprus.

The Ottoman baths were built by Mehmet Bey Ebubekir, the administrator of Pafos, in 1592 and became an important social centre for both the Turkish and Greek Cypriot inhabitants of Ktima. It was used until 1925 and was recently restored to its previous glory by the municipality.

A coffee break takes place at the Municipal Market Building in the 1920 which consists of a big covered place; once the meat, fish and vegetable market, the stalls of which have been turned into small tourist shops in the centre. The “Laiki Gonia”, now a pedestrian quarter, is the tourist shopping centre of the market following the recent tourist development

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