Why is a trip to Paphos, Cyprus a must?
Paphos is the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of love. In fact, the name of this capital city in southwest Cyprus is actually the name of the love child of the goddess of love. Myth has it that Pygmalion, a devote follower of Aphrodite's cult, stole her statue to keep it in his home. Apparently pleased by this, Aphrodite's spirit embodied the statue and she bore Pygmalion two children, a son, Paphos and a daughter, Metharme.
A temple to Aphrodite was built in Paphos by the Myceneans in the 12th Century BC. However, only the foundations remain. Yet, Paphos is still known for its gorgeous mosaics, which is in part the reason for its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
As is true in life, however, along with love comes conflict, as the history of Cyprus reflects. The island is still currently split between Greek Cypriots in the south and Turkish Cypriots in the north. Greek-Cyprus entered the EU in 2004 and even adopted the Euro in January 2008, while Turkish-Cyprus is independent of the EU and uses the Turkish Lira. However, perhaps like all good love stories, one day there will be a reconciliation.
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