Agia Kyriaki church, the ancient Chrysopolitissa Basilica
 and Saint Paul’s pillar

Walking on the footsteps of Saint Paul

Agia Kyriaki church and Basilica ChrysopolitissaBuilt around 400 AD Basilica Chrysopolitissa is one of the oldest Christian churches in the world. Many people visit it as Saint Paul taught Christianity here.

Agia Kyriaki church and Basilica Chrysopolitissa

In brief, Agia Kyriaki church and Chrysopolitissa Basilica are a complex of churches built one above the ruins of the earlier, over a period of 1100 years. The physical presence on the site of Saint Paul on 45 AD to teach Christianity attracts thousands of visitors.

Useful information about the monument

Archaeological site opening hours

The monument is open every day, all year round. Operating hours are 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM during the winter months and 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM during the summer months.

Entrance fee

The entrance to this site is free

 

Saint Paul's pillarSaint Paul's pillar

According to tradition, Saint Paul was punished and sentenced to thirty nine (forty but one) lashes for evangelizing Christianity in Paphos.

For this, he was tied on a column and whipped with a special whip. The whip from one single base had 13 heads, so with one beat Saint Paul received 13 lashes. He endured for three beats before he kneed down. As every beat equalled to 13 lashes, he received a total of 39, of forty but one, lashes.

The column, known as Saint Paul’s pillar, lies next to the church.

 

What is included in the site

- The remains of Chrysopolitissa Basilica, from the 4th century AD. You can see still standing columns made of granite and marble. The columns have Corinthian-styled capitals. There are also preserved pieces of the floors of the Basilica, decorated with mosaics.

- Agia Kyriaki Church, which is the only complete church on this site today. It is a stone built church. It was built around 1500 AD and received many additions and improvements during the centuries since then.

- The remains of the Roman Catholic Church which was built around 1300 AD. The Roman Catholic Church abandoned and destroyed after the Ottomans enslaved Cyprus at 1570AD.

- Saint Pauls pillar: the pillar where according to tradition Saint Paul was tied and whipped.

- Nearby ottoman baths. They just happen to be in the same archaeological site and have no other connection with the rest antiquities. They belong to a totally different period of Cyprus history.

Time it takes to visit: at least 30 to 45 minutes to take a good impression of the site. There are walking platforms around the ancient monuments and many informative signs in English which help very much to understand what you see.

Where is Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa, map and directions

The archaeological site is on a side road, parallel and just 100 meters from Apostolou Pavlou Avenue. This is the main road connecting Kato Paphos area with Paphos town. Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa and Saint Paul’s pillar archaeological site are within easy walking distance from Kato Paphos harbour, about 500 meters / less than ten minutes walk from the sea front.
Directions: from the harbour, follow Apostolou Pavlou Avenue towards Paphos Mall. Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa is on the second turn to your right, as you follow the street. The entrance into the site is at the end of the small road, about 100 meters from the main road. Put your mouse over the map below for a bigger version of the map.

Map of Kato Paphos port with directions to Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa church

Other nearby attractions

Combine the visit to Agia Kyriaki and Panagia Chrysopolitissa with visits to Agia Solomoni catacomb, the Ottoman baths, the Ancient theatre and Fabrica hill with Agios Agapitikos church, carved in a big rock..

 

Brief history

Chrysopolitissa Basilica was one of the biggest churches built in Cyprus. Basilica Chrysopolitissa was built in the 4th century AD is one of the oldest Christian churches in the world. It is an impressive building of about 1600 square meters. It included the church of which today we can see columns made of granite and marble. The columns have Corinthian-styled, beautifully carved capitals. There are also pieces of the floors of the Basilica, decorated with mosaics. Adjacent to the church, there is an attached, two-storey building. As the church was an episcopal one, this building is considered to be the Bishop’s residence.

During the 6th century the Chrysopolitissa Basilica received an extensive remodelling. Among others, the original seven aisles of the church reduced to five. Also, new mosaics added on the floor. After the Arab raids during the 6th century, the area abandoned for centuries.

The church of Agia Kyriaki was built around 1500 AD on the foundations of an earlier Byzantine church. This Byzantine church was first built around 1100 AD and modified again and again over the centuries. Finally, it was demolished around 1500 AD and a new church, dedicated to Agia Kyriaki, was built here. It is the church which we actually see today, with the additions it received through the centuries since then.

Although this was a Greek Orthodox Church, Agia Kyriaki is today used by the Anglican Church and the Latin Church. Of course, everybody can visit the church and pray.

In 45 AD Saint Paul and Barnabas the Apostles and Mark visited Cyprus during their first missionary journey.