Paphos' archeological theatre, an UNESCO's diamond

Paphos' archeological theatre, an UNESCO's diamond

2 minutes to read

One of UNESCO's diamonds -the world’s most important heritage- is located in Paphos. The ancient theatre can be found in Nea Paphos and it is considered to be one of the most important Greek theatres that have ever been built in Cyprus.

Its size fascinates, especially after its completion of the 18th century excavation period. The excavations for this monument have been carried out by the University of Sydney, under the direction of Mr Craig Barker and are being fund by the Australian Archeological Institute of Athens and the Nicholson Museum of Sydney’s University

The archeological theatre of Paphos
The archeological theatre of Paphos
Pafos, Chipre

The excavations and the history behind

The theater is located in the south of the hillside Fabrica, which is in the northeast of the ancient city of Nea Paphos.

The theater is partly carved in the natural rock of the hill and partly built on it. It used to be the  "foundation of the city", in  around 300 BC, until it was finally destroyed by earthquakes in the 4th century. Its acme is calculated to have taken place around the 2nd century AD, during the empire of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius.

At the same time, outside the strict limits of the theater, Australian archaeologists revealed a sector of the ancient city. A paved road of the Roman period has already been seen on the south side of the theater and a Nymphaeum or public fountain -also Roman-, has also been revealed. All the excavations in 2017, were focused on the southeastern area of the site, near Nymphei, where three more excavations have been initiated.

Photo Credits © iStockphoto/pal1983
Photo Credits © iStockphoto/pal1983

According to the archaeologists' announcements, it is one of the largest in capacity theaters of ancient civilization and one of the best preserved. The ancient theater of Nea Paphos was used for more than six centuries and its capacity reached up to eight thousand people. It is closely linked to the architecture of Alexandria, as Paphos during the Ptolemaic Empire was the capital of the island, which explain the reflection of the Alexandria's theatre style.

In addition, the scholars estimate that the paved road in the area of the theater, which is also marked with colonnades, functioned as the main road of Nea Paphos, heading from the gate of the ancient city to the present archaeological park.

As we already know Paphos is one of the most important cities in Cyprus, with a lot of history that dates back to 300BC, till the present days. Apart from its beautiful beaches and nature, Paphos has monuments that are no doubt worth seeing. So, if you find yourself in Paphos, make a stop and admire this beautiful Unesco's diamond.

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The author

Anastasia Bartzi

Anastasia Bartzi

Hello my name is Anastasia and I was born in Greece. I am passionate about people, gastronomy and crossfit. As a citizen of the world, I like living the local life experience which I will share with you. Let the journey begin.

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