One big attraction for you not to miss is the Rock of Aphrodite. Its Greek name is Petra tou Romiou or ‘The Rock of the Greek’. Legend has it that Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, rose from the waves in this strikingly beautiful spot. There are several versions of the story of the goddess’s birth, but the most famous is that Aphrodite rose naked from the sea on a scallop shell. Blown by the wind, Aphrodite’s first stop was on the island of Cythera, but this was such a tiny island that Aphrodite kept moving and eventually got to Cyprus, where she began living in Paphos.
A myth states if you swim around the Aphrodite Rock, you will be blessed with eternal beauty. However the waters around the rock are so rough persuading tourists not to swim there. The Aphrodite Rock however is one of the most photographed rocks in the world; therefore do not miss out on this sight!
You can also find a restaurant as well as a souvenir shop at the Rock of Aphrodite.
One of the other most fascinating archaeological sites in Cyprus is Kourion, this spectacular ancient city dates back to the 12th century B.C. and was once one of the most marvellous cities throughout the Mediterranean. The grand Greco Roman Amphitheatre has now been completely restored and being in the audience for a theatrical or musical performance in this primeval arena is an unforgettable experience.
The Kourion is characterized by numerous ruined houses from the late Roman period; the House of Gladiators, the House of Achilles and the House of Eustolios are some of the remnants from early centuries. The floors in these houses are paved with mosaics, the early Christian Basilica dates back to the 5th century A.D.
One of the famous structures here is the Nymphaeum which was built in the 2nd century A.D. and is a sacred place devoted to water nymphs, the salient features of the stadium stand for its magnificence.
A fine example of military architecture originally constructed in the13th century and subsequently rebuilt in its present form in the middle of the 15th century. It served first as the Grand Commandery of the Knights Templar, and after the fall of Acre in 1291 for some years, as the headquarters of the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
Kolossi and its castle are directly connected with a number of important events, which constitute various interesting folds of the age long and stormy history of Cyprus.
It is an interesting reminder of the rule of the Knights of St John in the 13th century, who started producing wine and processing sugar cane at a Commandery that stood on this land. The famous Cypriot wine, Commandaria, took its name from here.
The Cyprus Wine Museum started operation in November 2004, after 6 years of hard work in restoring, expanding and decorating the 150 year old stone building. Originally the building was an inn, where the wine merchants from the wine villages of Limassol and Paphos used to meet, and overnight on their way to Limassol main market. It is therefore quite certain that wine was enjoyed in quantities in the building over the last 100 years.
The Cyprus Wine Museum, using traditional and contemporary methods presents a journey through centuries of Cyprus wine history. Ancient jars and vases, medieval drinking vessels, the private collection of Anastasia Guy, old documents and instruments illustrate how wine was produced, stored and enjoyed in the past. Photographic backdrops and audiovisual equipment bring all aspects of wine making to life, from cultivation to production.
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