Saturday, July 12, 2014

Petra tou Romiou – The Birthplace of Aphrodite

This interesting geological formation of huge rocks off the southwest coast in the Paphos district forms one of the most impressive natural sites of Cyprus associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.





According to legend, this strikingly beautiful spot is where Aphrodite rose from the waves and the foaming sea on the 9th Januray, thousands of years ago, and was then escorted on a shell at the rocks known as ‘Rock ofAphrodite’ or ‘Petra tou Romiou’ in Greek. The Greek name, Petra tou Romiou, “the Rock of the Greek”, is associated with the legendary Byzantine hero, Digenis Akritas, who kept the marauding Saracens at bay with his amazing strength. With one hand he was said to have grabbed hold of the Kyreneia mountain range thereby forming "Pentadaktylos", the Five Finger Mountain, while with the other hand he heaved a huge rock and tossed it into the sea at the Saracens who were trying to land. The rock still remains and thus gave the region its name.





 It is said that in certain weather conditions, the waves rise, break and form a column of water that dissolves into a pillar of foam. With imagination, this looks for just a moment like an ephemeral, evanescent human shape. The site is on the Aphrodite Cultural Route.

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