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Artemis Cynthia Complex – Paphos Cyprus

Ayia Paraskevi Church in Yeroskipou

The Byzantine church dedicated to Saint Paraskevi in the village of Yeroskipou in Paphos is a fine example of the era’s architectural style. While the church dates to the ninth century, its interior features paintings that date from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries. A monochrome red cross painted on one of the church’s stones is estimated to date to the early Christian period.

Apart from its frescoes, the church also contains a significant portable double-sided icon dating to the fifteenth century. The Virgin Mary is depicted on one side and the Crucifixion scene on the other. According to tradition, the name Yeroskipou (‘sacred garden’ in Greek) derives from the sacred gardens of the Goddess Aphrodite, which were located to the south of the village towards the sea.

From this point, ancient pilgrims started their journey to Aphrodite’s sanctuary in old Paphos. As such, the church may stand on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to Aphrodite, although it could also originally have been dedicated to the Holy Cross. Today, the church is dedicated to the Christian martyr Saint Paraskevi.

The Byzantine church dedicated to Saint Paraskevi in the village of Yeroskipou in Paphos is a fine example of the era’s architectural style. The church dates back to the 9th century, and its interior displays paintings that date from the 8th to 15th centuries.  

A monochrome red cross, painted on one of the church’s stones, is estimated to date back to the early Christian period. Apart from its frescoes, the church also contains a rather significant portable, double-sided icon, dating to the 15th century. The Virgin Mary is depicted on one side, and the scene of the Crucifixion on the other.

According to tradition, the name Yeroskipou (‘sacred garden’ in Greek) derives from the sacred gardens of the Goddess Aphrodite, which were located to the south of the village towards the sea, at the point where the ancient pilgrims began their journey to the sanctuary of old Paphos.

As such, the church may stand on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to Aphrodite, although it could also originally have been dedicated to the Holy Cross. Today, it is dedicated to the Christian martyr Saint Paraskevi.

Note: The church operates all year round. Opening and closing times as well as entrance fees, are subject to alterations without notice. Visitors are advised to check before visiting. Entrance is free of charge.