The Paphos Old Town is actually quite a small area: a cluster of pedestrian ways around Kennedy Square. Because in 2017 Paphos shared the distinction of being the European Capital of Culture with the Danish city of Aarhus, local authorities conducted ample works to revamp the Old Town. What you see today is the result of extensive modernization works. However, some traces of the past remain in the private architectural landmarks the government couldn’t touch.
Discovering the Old-World Charm of the Old Town
The Paphos Old Town is not the ancient site of the city. To reach the Tombs of the Kings or the harbor from here you’d walk about 20 minutes or more. The Old Town area surrounds the Kennedy Square and the Municipal Gardens.
The Old Town is an area known by the locals as Ktima, a favorite meeting point around Kennedy Square. The heart of Paphos lost some of its old-world charms, as renovation works in 2015-2017 changed its appearance to appeal to the visitors of the European Capital of Culture 2017. Kenedy Square got a facelift, with new pavement and art installations of all kinds, most of them relocated after the European Capital of Culture event. But many artsy murals still decorate building facades. In fact, this area is an outdoor art exhibition of sorts.
If you adventure off-the-beaten-path, you can discover the old-world essence of Ktima. Behind the polished new square and renovated Markideio theater, many of the buildings display the patina of time with subtle pride. It’s not uncommon, but for the untrained observer, they may look like edifices threatened by decay. In contrast, the main square shines in bright whites. But step inside these whitewashed modernized buildings, and the Cypriot spirit trumps modernity with determined glee.