Strolling Around Ktima
This walk is offered every Tuesday, by the Pafos municipality and is organised in collaboration with the CTO and the Cyprus Tourist Guides Association. It starts from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation Office, 3, Glastonos Street, Tel: 26 332841.
In an effort to get visitors acquainted with “Ktima” which is the newest part of the city of Pafos as opposed to New Pafos, the ancient Hellenistic and Roman Capital of Cyprus, the Pafos Municipality is organising a walking tour: Strolling around Ktima.
In a district like Pafos with a history of more than 7,000 years which offers a variety of archaeological sites from the Chalcolithic and early Bronze Age to the present, it is natural that the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Mosaics, the Tombs of the Kings and the Temple of Aphrodite at Kouklia, attract thousands of tourists to the area. Visitors though tend to ignore the upper part of Pafos Ktima (Pano Pafos) that is associated with the local everyday life of the population.
For the Pafians, Ktima is of equal importance as it is the area that keeps the historical and cultural continuity of Pafos from the Hellenistic times till today. It is for this reason that the Pafos Municipality would like to invite everyone to visit Ktima and get to know this part of Pafos, incorrectly considered as merely a shopping area. There is so much more to it.
The Walking Tour of Pafos' Town Centre (Ktima) will take place only twice during the months of January and February. For more information regarding the date that the Tour will take place, please contact the Cyprus Tourism Organization.
Strolling around Ktima
The tour aims to provide an overall picture of Ktima and how it evolved and developed from the late Byzantine and Medieval times to the present.
This walking tour will give visitors a better feel of the local life then and now, its year-round atmosphere, and a better understanding of Pafos’ continual cultural development. Ktima reflects the continuity in the cultural development of Pafos from Nea Pafos to Pano Pafos. Through historic references, linked with some very important historic phases including Medieval, Ottoman, British and modern times; one will be transported into the past but will also get better acquainted with the commercial centre of Pafos.
Ktima comprises four different areas. Mousallas to the east, the area of the school complexes and the police station, the post office and market area and Moutallos, which was the traditional Turkish Cypriot quarter.
This walk is offered free, every Thursday, by the Pafos Municipality and is organised in collaboration with the CTO and the Cyprus Tourist Guides Association. It starts from Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) Information Office, 3, Gladstonos Street, Tel: 26 932841.
A licensed CTO qualified guide meets visitors at the starting point, wearing the badge of a licensed guide and of the Pafos Municipality. Each walking tour lasts about two and a half hours, including a half-hour break for refreshments.
Participants are advised to wear comfortable walking shoes, light clothes, and a hat especially during the summer months.
A brief outline of the history of Ktima
Unlike other cities of Cyprus, Pafos has two distinctive geographical areas which have developed at different historical phases. Nea Pafos and Ktima usually referred to as Kato/Lower Pafos and Pano/Upper Pafos. Nea Pafos (New Pafos) which was founded by Nicocles, the last King of the Kingdom of Paleapafos is present day Kouklia. Under the Ptolemies, New Pafos, having been built on the peninsula next to a natural harbour, had better access to Alexandria, the capital of the Egyptian Greek Dynasty, and became the first capital of the island. However Paleapafos remained the most important religious centre on the island where Aphrodite the Cyprian Goddess was worshiped well after Christianity was established. Nea Pafos the capital, seat of the Ptolemaic Stratigos, and later seat of the Roman Proconsul flourished between the 4th century BC and 7th century AD. Saint Paul’s visit to Cyprus during his first missionary journey in 45 AD is associated with Pafos as that is where he converted the first Roman Proconsul to Christianity.
Nea Pafos suffered the same fate as the rest of the ancient coastal cities of Cyprus that were destroyed by continuous Arab raids between the 7th-10th centuries AD. During the Early Byzantine Period, Nea Pafos gradually declined after the destructive earthquakes of 332 AD and the Arab raids forced the remaining population to abandon the coast in order to seek refuge elsewhere.
Ktima, built on a rocky hill, overlooking Nea Pafos, served as a natural refuge that protected its inhabitants from the raids. Its name, associated with the medieval times, is the translation of the name the Royal Domain suggesting the existence of a Royal Fief or land which belonged to a knight during medieval times.
Ktima seemed to coexist on the history map of the region along with Nea Pafos in late Byzantine and Medieval times. Pafos harbour offered refuge to Crusaders on their way to Jerusalem and in 1103 it was visited by the Danish King, Erik the Good, who died and was buried in Kato Pafos. In 1191 Cyprus was conquered by Richard the Lionheart, on his way to Jerusalem during the 3rd Crusade, who destroyed the city and fortress of Pafos. He first sold the island to the Knights Templar and later to Guy de Lusignan, the former King of Jerusalem and for 300 years, Cyprus remained under French Rule.
Pafos was known for its sugar production which was one of the reasons it was attacked by the Genoese in 1373 AD.
Under the Venetians (1498 – 1571), military forces were stationed in Pafos and the harbour was used by traders as an intermediary station for refuelling and trade. During this period, there are references to a small settlement that existed around the harbour.
During the Ottoman attack on Cyprus in 1570, Turkish troops landed in Pafos and during the ensuing Ottoman rule (1571-1878), it remained a small town with a Turkish administrator (Pasha) who was stationed in Ktima. The old Turkish administrative area was at KONAKI, the present area of the Police station.
When the Greek Orthodox Church was recognised by the Ottomans and the Archbishop represented the population as the Ethnarch in dealings with the Ottoman rulers, Pafos had its own bishop who resided in Ktima. Pafos was then referred to as Nea Pafos and Ktima, and like the rest of the island, the area sank into physical decline with heavy taxation, people converting to Islam and Latin churches being converted into mosques.
In 1815 William Turner, a member of the British Embassy at Constantinople, on a visit to Pafos, mentioned that it had three quarters; the metropolis where the Turks lived with 150 houses, the Greek quarter called Ktima which had 50 houses and the harbour that had about 80 families, both Greek and Turkish.
Britain took over the administration of Cyprus after a secret agreement with the Ottomans (1878-1960) and Sir Garnet Wolseley, the first High Commissioner, established his headquarters in Nicosia and Bacon, the first British Administrator of Pafos used the old Turkish administration offices ‘Konaki’ as his offices.
The Pafos region isolated from the rest of the island without a road infrastructure to connect it with the rest of the island and poor means of transport, was cut off from any development - Pafians travelled to Limassol on an irregular basis, by boat or on foot. It was only in the 1920’s that the British built a road and new government offices. The first Greek schools were founded in the 1880s and it acquired its first doctors between 1910 – 1930.
The revival of Greek Neoclassic architecture and the organization of Cultural Festivals for the Greek poet Palamas followed the ideals of Hellenism and the struggle for national restitution and union of Cyprus with Greece. During the 1955 – 1959 struggles against the British, Pafos played an important role with one of its leaders Archbishop Makarios III (from Panayia, a small village in the Pafos district) as well as other members of the community participating in the National Organization of EOKA. 18 year old Evagoras Pallikarides, a Pafian was one of the 9 rebels hanged by the British that ended with Cyprus becoming an independent Republic. Three years later there was conflict between the two communities all over the island, and Mousallas, the traditional Turkish Quarter of the town, was separated from Ktima.
The Pafians opposed the military coup against Archbishop Makarios and fought against the Greek officers who were in charge of the Cypriot army. Following the Turkish invasion in July 1974 as a result of which the northern part of Cyprus was occupied by Turkish troops and the Greek Cypriots fled to the south and Turkish Cypriots established themselves in the north, the Turkish Cypriots left Pafos.
In 1970, Pafos replaced the names of New Pafos and Ktima for the whole town, although people still refer to them as such. In the 1980s Kato Pafos was to develop into an important tourist destination and in 1980 the monuments of Kato Pafos were listed in the UNESCO catalogue as World Heritage Monuments thus putting Pafos on the map as the cultural city of Cyprus. The first capital of Cyprus in Hellenistic and Roman times, revived to become the most important tourist centre in the western most point of Cyprus.
Highlights of the tour
The tour starts with the Elias and Avgousta Malioti Park, the private garden of two impressive buildings that were built on the rock above it, reflecting the architecture of the first Manor houses of Ktima of the beginning of the 20th century. The garden was ultimately donated to the Pafos Municipality by the Maliotis family.
The one to the left is the old guest house, in which the British Colonial administrators stayed during the British period, which survived to be called the “Rest House”. To the right, the house of Dr Maliotis’ daughter, that now houses the Municipal Gallery exhibiting works of Pafian artists. Bought by the Municipality, it has been superbly restored with the donorship of the Leventis Foundation.
In the middle of the park is the picturesque Chapel of St. John the Forerunner, once a private chapel where a service takes place on 28th of August, the name day of the saint. At the south-west end of the park stands the contemporary Youth Centre of Pafos that blends the new with the old.
Further to the east within the park is a recent inadvertent discovery by the Antiquities Department of a Hellenistic tomb with rich finds that may change the chronological map of the cultural development of Ktima.
The tour goes past Mousallas, in a prominent position overlooking Nea Pafos, which shows the geographical relation of the Hellenistic and Roman Capital Nea Pafos to Ktima. An overview of lower Pafos and the World Heritage site is magnificent. The name Mousallas echoes the Ottoman period, where there was the Mous Allah mosque, which fell into ruin in the 1900s. There are plans to re-landscape the area into a recreation centre.
The tour goes past the religious centre of Pafos, the Agios Theodoros neighbourhood, which gets its name from the Agios Theodoros Metropolitan Church, the main point of reference in the area, and the Pafos Holy Bishopric, a 1910 building. The Church was built in 1896 on a smaller church, with further renovations in 1917 and 1923. Next to it one sees the memorial with the names of those associated with the conflicts the Pafians were involved in; the Balkan wars of 1821, the intercommunal conflict of 1964 and the Turkish invasion of 1974. Next comes the Byzantine Museum, which exhibits several rare examples of Byzantine art (12th-19th centuries) from the district of Pafos. The picture is completed by a tailor’s shop for religious vestments.
The tour passes by another neighbourhood of Ktima at the edge of “Exo Vrisi” (far away fountain) Street, which was the first path between Ktima and Kato Pafos. Its name suggests the presence of a fountain which in the past used to supply the neighbourhood with water. It is in the area of Exo Vrisi that the first British soldiers camped in July 1978.
In the same street, two important houses cover the complete history of Ktima between the late 19th and early 20th century; the Ethnographical Museum of Georgios Eliades and the house of Philippos Loizou. Its architecture with neoclassic elements opposite the building of the Ethnographical Museum with its architecture inspired by the colonial architecture, exhibits interesting every day items of the art and the rural life of the Pafos district. The tour passes from the typical narrow street of Filipos Antoniades, which ends at 25th March Street with houses from the 20’s opposite the bust of Costis Palamas, the Geek poet, in whose honour the Pafians have organized cultural events every year since 1951. One also sees the fountain of the ‘Sleeping Eros” which is a copy of the original 1st century statue now at the Cyprus Museum.
The tour continues to the Town Hall Square, the most important point of reference of Ktima. The Town Hall built within the Municipal Gardens, opposite the memorial column of 28th October 1940, put by Mayor Galatopoulos (1943-1953) to honour the resistance of the Greeks against fascism. Around it one sees the names of Pafians who lost their lives fighting the Germans.
The Town Hall was built, imitating the architecture of Parthenon, during Mayor Iacovos Iakovides tenure in 1955. The Doric columns are the craftsmanship of well-known stone carver Nicolas Tsdadiotis and opposite is the Municipal Library, another neoclassic building of the 1940s built when Galatopoulos was Mayor.
On Grivas Digenis Avenue there is a whole complex of schools; Gymnasiums, Lyceums and an Elementary school. Their architecture is also a reflection of the national aspirations of the Pafians to follow the ideals of Hellenism and the struggle for national restitution and union of Cyprus with Greece; a prevailing political demand of the Cypriots between 1900 and 1960. The Gymnasium of Nicolaos Nicolaides is the oldest one built in 1928 with the generous donation of Mayor Nicolaides. The Lyceum of Archbishop Makarios III is the newest one built in 1960 using various donations. In its yard ones sees a memorial to the ‘fighter student’ and on the other side of the avenue the statue of Evagoras Pallikarides reminds of the struggle against the British of 1955 – 1959. Among the other schools, is the Iacoveion Gymnasium founded in 1920s by Anzoulatos, the progressive Bishop of Pafos, next is the classical style built entrance ‘Popylaea’ that leads to the athletic centre with Corinthian capitals hand-carved by a well-known craftsman of Pafos in 1931 and then the Demetreion Elementary School, named after an expatriate Pafian who donated it to his home town in 1928.
Further to the right towards the commercial centre, the Pafos Police Head Quarters with a distinctive style of British Colonial architecture introduced in 1878 by the new ‘masters’ of the island.
Used now mainly as car park is Kennedy Square - the old “artimathkies” square, the central square of Pafos where until the mid-90s, all the political rallies were held. To the south of the square, opposite the traffic lights one sees lovely neoclassic houses, one of which was the Pafos Palace Hotel - a centre for receptions and dances in the past - and to the west, the Titania one of three cinemas of Pafos of the 40s, with the old film projector in its entrance as a reminder of bygone times.
The walk goes to Archbishop Makarios Ave. the main shopping street, with a variety of modern shops and interesting buildings of the 20s; including the Hellenic Bank and the barber shop that has been there since 1930s; a sign of resistance to development.
The tour continues to Agios Kendeas Church which in 1923 replaced an old small building. This church played an important role in the founding of the first schools at Ktima in the late 19th early 20th century. Agios Kendeas came to Cyprus from the Syro-Palestinian coast, stayed in a cave overlooking the sea where he became a hermit, known as a curer of physical diseases.
The old colonial buildings of the Post Office, the Old Court House and the Land Registry in 1920 replaced the old administrative buildings of the Ottoman times which were in the area of the Police station. They are examples of British colonial architecture built by the Public Works department in their effort to introduce a uniform architectural style of public buildings all over Cyprus by incorporating some local architectural elements.
Opposite the Bus Station is the first ‘kafenion’/coffee house, an important point of reference of the social and economic life of Ktima. Its name “Sikamia” or Sycamore Tree coffee house is a flashback to the times when the Pafos district was the most important silk-producing area of Cyprus.
The Ottoman baths were built by Mehmet Bey Ebubekir, the administrator of Pafos, in 1592 and became an important social centre for both the Turkish and Greek Cypriot inhabitants of Ktima. It was used until 1925 and was recently restored to its previous glory by the municipality.
A coffee break takes place at the Municipal Market Building in the 1920 which consists of a big covered place; once the meat, fish and vegetable market, the stalls of which have been turned into small tourist shops in the centre. The “Laiki Gonia”, now a pedestrian quarter, is the tourist shopping centre of the market following the recent tourist development of Pafos. Next to it is the open air vegetable and fruit market that gives you a chance to enjoy a traditional market with the colourful atmosphere created by the local produce.
Moutallos, the Turkish neighbourhood of Ktima is geographically to the west of Fellachoglou Street which is a big shopping street; once the most commercial street where Turkish and Greek Cypriot villagers from near by villages traded.
Through Kemal Ataturk Street the tour leads to ‘Agia Sofia’ Mosque -.a 16th century medieval church converted into a Mosque after 1571 and restored by the Antiquities department. The architecture is a combination of medieval and ottoman and belongs to the religious institution of the Moslem population of EFKAF.
On the way back to the starting point participants of the tour pass by different traditional workshops such as a mattress maker, a candle maker, a chair maker and traditional workshops for handmade tools. Passing outside a dilapidated old inn one can feel the old vibrant atmosphere of the commercial centre of Ktima.
And finally the Old Power House of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus at Vladimiros Erakleous Street or “Paleia Elektriki” which has been turned into a Cultural Centre by the Pafos Municipality.
The tour ends back at the CTO Information Office on Gladstonos Street.
COMMENTS – COMPLAINTS:
The Pafos Municipality will welcome any comments and suggestions. A questionnaire is available at the CTO Information Office and participants are requested to fill it in and return it at the end of the tour.
The map of Pafos includes the basic route of the walking tour. The map is marked with all parking places and the main places of reference like, The Town Hall, churches, museums, schools and other public places. It also includes the Cyprus Tourism Information Centre and the Citizens’ Information and Service Centre as well the Urban and Intercity Buses Station.
Pafos Municipality, May 2008
©Text - Supervision: Titina Loizidou:
Pafos Municipality in collaboration with: The Cyprus Tourism Organisation and the Cyprus Tourist Guides Association