The Sanctuary of Aphrodite is found in Palaipaphos near Kouklia village, which was actually Old Paphos, once a city-kingdom.
It was one of the most celebrated pilgrimages of the ancient Greek world. The goddess Aphrodite, goddess of love and fertility, was venerated and worshiped here since 1500 BC. The locals had built an elaborate temple and famous Sanctuary on the hilltop. The oldest ruins date back to the 12th c. BC. The temple, which lies very close to the "Petra Tou Romiou", overlooks the sea from a 2 Km distance inland. It was not late after the ancient city - kingdom of Palea Paphos, known as Palaipaphos, sprang around the temple.
Many myths, rituals and pagan festivals arise from this site as the cult of Aphrodite survived through the Roman era until the 4th century AD with the end of Paganism by law. At the Byzantine period the locals used the stones from the ancient shrine as building materials to their houses. Then in the Middle ages there was a sugar milling workshop built on the stone foundations, destroying the remains of the Temple. The excavations still continue today at the necropolis and the city of Palaipaphos. Several findings from the sanctuary, including the conical stone that was worshiped, are nowadays housed in archaeological museums in Nicosia and Paphos. A lusignan manor near by houses the museum with findings from the site with exhibits like betyls or phallic monoliths and other important finds from Palaipaphos. Vistors can also see the nearby Leda Mosaic House. The entire archaeological site is protected by UNESCO and listed as World Heritage.
Kouklia Village, 14 km east of Paphos
Opening Hours: 08:00 – 16:00 Monday – Sunday ( exc. Wednesday)
08:00 – 17:00 Wednesday
Entrance: 3.40 Euro