Petra tou Romiou

Kouklia, Cyprus

Petra tou Romiou, also known as Aphrodite's Rock, is a sea stack in Paphos. The combination of the beauty of the area and its status in mythology as the birthplace of Aphrodite makes it a popular tourist location. According to one legend, this rock is the site of the birth of the goddess Aphrodite, perhaps owing to the foaming waters around the rock fragments. Another legend associates the name Achni with the nearby beach, and attributes this to it being a site where the Achaeans came ashore on their return from Troy.

Excavations have unearthed the spectacular 3rd- to 5th-century mosaics of the Houses of Dionysus, Orpheus and Aion, and the Villa of Theseus, buried for 16 centuries and yet remarkably intact. The mosaic floors of these noblemen's villas are considered among the finest in the Eastern Mediterranean. They mainly depict scenes from Greek mythology.

The present name Petra tou Romiou (Rock of the Greek) associates the place with the exploits of the hero Basil as told in the Digenes Akritas. Basil was half-Greek (Romios) and half-Arabic, hence the name Digenes (two-blood). Legend tells that Basil hurled the huge rock from the Troodos Mountains to keep off the invading Saracens. A nearby rock is similarly known as the Saracen Rock.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Address

Kouklia, Cyprus
See all sites in Kouklia

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nathalie DS (7 days ago)
Beautiful sight but not much around to do. Avoid the hottest hours of summer as there is literally no shade anywhere. Cross from the cafe to the beach through an underground passage, don't cross the highway!
David Benn (12 days ago)
This used to be called Aphrodite's rock. And legend had it that if you swim around it you will have everlasting love. I swam round it in 1967 and have now been married for 46 years, maybe there's something in it. There is a small gift shop and tavern at the other side of the road where you can park for free and a tunnel under the road for safe access. Well worth a visit if only to throw a few pebbles into the sea.
Aris Vidalis (24 days ago)
This is an iconic place in Cyprus. A place from where you watch beautiful sun sets especially in late autumn. And nice for swimming. The seawater is usually turbid though because of the southwestern winds. There is always a crowd here but it doesn't feel too crowded.
Ірина Менчинська (37 days ago)
Unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to climb on the rock - the beautiful view will appear for you! Before the trip better to take good shoes for your comfortable climbing.
Ling Lin (2 months ago)
One of my favourite spot in Cyprus. Much quieter than the commercial beaches full of tourists. Turquoise water and the sea stack are gorgeous, absolutely wonderful to enjoy a good afternoon there.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Castle Rushen

Castle Rushen is located in the Isle of Man"s historic capital, Castletown. The castle is amongst the best examples of medieval castles in the British Isles, and is still in use as a court house, museum and educational centre.

The exact date of castle is unknown, although construction is thought to have taken place during the reigns of the late 12th century and early 13th century rulers of the Isle of Man – the Kings of Mann and the Isles. The original Castle Rushen consisted of a central square stone tower, or keep. The site was also fortified to guard the entrance to the Silver Burn. From its early beginnings, the castle was continually developed by successive rulers of Mann between the 13th and 16th century. The limestone walls dominated much of the surrounding landscape, serving as a point of dominance for the various rulers of the Isle of Man. By 1313, the original keep had been reinforced with towers to the west and south. In the 14th century, an east tower, gatehouses, and curtain wall were added.

After several more changes of hands the English and their supporters eventually prevailed. The English king Edward I Longshanks claimed that the island had belonged to the Kings of England for generations and he was merely reasserting their rightful claim to the Isle of Man.

The 18th century saw the castle in steady decay. By the end of the century it was converted into a prison. Even though the castle was in continuous use as a prison, the decline continued until the turn of the 20th century, when it was restored under the oversight of the Lieutenant Governor, George Somerset, 3rd Baron Raglan. Following the restoration work, and the completion of the purpose-built Victoria Road Prison in 1891, the castle was transferred from the British Crown to the Isle of Man Government in 1929.

Today it is run as a museum by Manx National Heritage, depicting the history of the Kings and Lords of Mann. Most rooms are open to the public during the opening season (March to October), and all open rooms have signs telling their stories. The exhibitions include a working medieval kitchen where authentic period food is prepared on special occasions and re-enactments of various aspects of medieval life are held on a regular basis, with particular emphasis on educating the local children about their history. Archaeological finds made during excavations in the 1980s are displayed and used as learning tools for visitors.