What I Saw

08 Dec 2023

The intrepid Gladys Peto

The intrepid Gladys Peto did not spend much time in Paphos but had some good words to say about the place as it had started catching up with tourist fever that was spreading on the island during the decade of the 1920s. Perhaps her description is the first that bears similarities to the Paphos of our days.

"About fifty miles to the west of Limassol is the most charming town of Paphos. It was here that Pygmalion lived and here that the statue of Galatea came to life. Very little is left of the ancient port of Paphos; the modern town has moved about a mile and a half inland, and should really be called Ktima. The port of Paphos itself should be called Neo-Paphos. At Neo-Paphos is a most decorative little harbour, a great square fort that bears the date 1589 and one little row of shops and coffee houses, behind which rise innumerable mounts and heaps of ruins and broken columns. The inhabitants of Paphos are provided with a hospital, but they have, besides, their own sure cures for their aches and ailments. Ktima, modern Paphos, has a rather uninteresting bazaar and the usual red-roofed houses. It is pretty and appears to be quite modern. The residential end of the town is built about with bungalows and owns a very good-looking public garden. Somehow it has a curious resemblance to an English seaside town."

The 'What I Saw...' series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus) and the Active Citizens Fund.

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