The Paphos Odeon is located in Kato Paphos, in the heart of the tourist area and is one of the most important monuments of Nea Paphos. It was part of the Roman Agora buildings and dates backto the 2nd century A.D and it was restored by the Department of Antiquities. Today, it accommodates various cultural events.
The Nea Paphos archaeological site
Nea Paphos is situated on a small promontory on the southwest coast of the island. According to written sources, the town was founded at the end of the 4th century B.C. by Nicocles, the last king of Palepaphos. In the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. when Cyprus became part of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, which had its capital in Alexandria, Nea Paphos became the centre of the Ptolemaic administration on the island. Until the end of the 2nd century B.C., Nea Paphos acquired such an important role as a political and economical centre of the region, that the Ptolemies made it the capital of the whole island.
When in 58 B.C. Cyprus was annexed by Rome, Nea Paphos continued to be the capital of Cyprus. Only after the disastrous earthquakes of the 4th century A.D. was the capital transferred to Salamis, which was then renamed Constantia. Even then, however, Nea Paphos still dominated the other cities of Cyprus. After the Arab raids in the middle of the 7th century, Nea Paphos went through a period of decline and was thus reduced in size. The town regained some of its importance during the Byzantine and Medieval periods, but from the Venetian period onwards, the coastal settlement of Nea Paphos was abandoned and the population began to move further inland where the present town of Paphos (Ktima) developed.
Systematic excavations at Nea Paphos started in 1962 by the Department of Antiquities during which many of the ancient town´s administrative buildings, as well as private houses and ecclesiastical buildings came to light. Nea Paphos, has also been the centre of excavations and research by many foreign archaeological missions, from Universities and Schools from all over Europe, America and Australia.
In 1980, Nea Paphos and Palepaphos were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.