Paphos, also known as Páfos in Greek, is a town in the southwestern Republic of Cyprus. Paphos was also the name of two ancient cities that predated the modern town. The older ancient city (Greek: Palaipaphos) was located in modern Prgos (Kouklia); New Paphos, which had supplanted Old Paphos by Roman times, was 10 miles (16 km) west. Modern Paphos is made up of New Paphos and Ktima.
Old Paphos, which was settled by Greek colonists during the Mycenaean period, had a famous Aphrodite temple and was the legendary site where Aphrodite was born from sea foam. In Hellenistic times, Paphos was second only to Salamis in terms of size and influence among Cyprus’s states. Paphos was ruled by the Cinyrad dynasty until it was finally conquered by Ptolemy I of Egypt (294 BCE). After the fall of the Cinyradae, the establishment of New Paphos, and the Roman conquest of Cyprus, the influence of Old Paphos dwindled (58 BCE). After the fourth century CE, it was abandoned.
In Ptolemaic and Roman times, New Paphos, which had been the port town of Old Paphos, became the administrative capital of the entire island. In 960 CE, Muslim raiders attacked and destroyed the city. Only after the British occupation in 1878 did the modern town begin to grow. The city’s life revolves around the harbour, which was improved in 1908 and 1959 but is still too small to handle large commercial traffic and thus serves only an active local fishing fleet. Despite the economic difficulties caused by the settlement of approximately 5,000 Greek Cypriot refugees in Paphos following the Turkish occupation in 1974, by the end of the decade, the city had become the focus of strong economic development, including an industrial estate and tourist hotels. Manufacturing in the city is made up of small businesses that produce clothing, footwear, canned meat, beverages, and vegetable oils. Orthodox churches, the Djami Kebir Mosque, Paphos Castle, and Frankish baths are among the local attractions. City population (2001): 26,530; urban population (2001): 47,198.