Aphrodite's Rock - Petra tou Romiou - Paphos

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According the legend,  Aphrodite the goddess of love was born here, it is believed that she came out of the water at that very spot, perhaps owing to the foaming waters around the rock fragments, and for this reason it is known as Aphrodite's Rock. Gaia (Mother Earth) asked one of her sons, Cronus, to mutilate his father, Uranus (Sky).

Cronus cut off Uranus' testicles and threw them into the sea. A white foam appeared from which a maiden arose, the waves first taking her to Kythera and then bringing her to Cyprus. The maiden, named Aphrodite, went to the assembly of gods from Cyprus. The Romans widely referred to her as Venus. Aphrodite attracted a large cult of followers in Pafos, which was eventually crushed by the Romans. This is evident from the Sanctuary of Aphrodite in Old Pafos at a place called  Kouklia. According to a local myth  is that any person who swims around the Aphrodite’s Rock will be blessed with eternal beauty.

Another legend associates a place nearby called  Achni which has a  nearby beach, as the site where the Achaeans came ashore on their return from Troy.

The present name Petra tou Romiou (Rock of the Greek) associates the place with the exploits of the Byzantine hero  Digenes Akritas, who was half-Greek (Romios) and half-Arabic, hence the name Digenes (two-blood). Legend tells that he hurled the huge rock from the Troodos Mountains to keep off the invading Saracens. A nearby rock is similarly known as the Saracen Rock.


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