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Paphos

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Ancient and famous and yet still very cozy Paphos stretches along the coast on the gently sloping hills that descend from Troodos mountains to the sea. Once this city used to be one of the largest and most prosperous on the island. And the only one that had the right to make its own coins. It also once was the capital of Cyprus.

During its long history Paphos changed its position 3 times. According to the first records about the town it was built by the King Agapinor after the Trojan War in a beautiful Bay. Later on the city centre moved a little to the west to spread on the nearby hills - in this way the residents tried to protect themselves from the repeated pirates attacks. Thus the Pano (upper) Paphos appeared. Nowadays the most actively developing area is the Kato (lower) Paphos, a tourist area adjoining the sea.

Now the Upper and Lower Paphos practically fused together, having absorbed a few small villages and settlements, that used to separate them. The Upper part is mostly populated by the locals. The Bishop’s palace, the Governor’s office, the municipality and most municipal and government buildings, schools and law firms are situated there.

The lower part belong entirely to the tourists. There is a plethora of hotels, taverns and restaurants, souvenir shops and stalls.

Paphos is probably the most respectable and picturesque area of Cyprus. Besides, the town is bursting with ancient monuments and sites that can be found practically at every turn.
Among them Paphos mosaics - the most beautiful and well preserved mosaics in Eastern Mediterranean. They are included in the UNESCO list of treasures of world civilization.

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A few hundred meters away from the mosaics near the lighthouse is the newly restored ancient amphitheater - Paphos Odeon, built in the II century AD. In summer it hosts live music and theatrical performances.
West from the lighthouse along the coast stretch the sandstone carved underground vaults, known as the "Tomb of the Kings." Despite the name, these graves probably belonged to the aristocracy of the Ptolemaic period and later times.
In 58 BC, when Cyprus became part of the Roman Empire, Paphos was the island's main city, growing in wealth and prosperity. It was during the reign of the Romans that Paphos became the political capital of the island.  After St. Paul managed to convert the Roman proconsul Sergius Paulus to Christianity, Cyprus became the first state with a Christian governor in the history of the world.
Today Paphos is a modern commercial and tourist center that annually welcomes hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors. Luxury hotels surged along the coast. The modern international airport of Paphos receives visitors from various countries.

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Due to its geographical position the climate in Paphos is the best on the island. The temperature here in the summer is five to six degrees lower than in Nicosia. Winter in Paphos is much warmer than in the capital.
Therefore Paphos has long been a favorite holiday destination, foreigners and Cypriots along.

                                                                                   Vladislav Drobkov


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