The Ayios Georgios archaeological Site in the village of Peyia in Paphos is one of the island’s earliest remnants of early Christian heritage. Today it is a popular area for pilgrims seeking to walk among the ruins of three Christian basilicas.
Excavations, which began in the 1950s, unearthed an early Christian settlement which bridged the Roman and early Christian periods.
The settlement flourished under the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (527-565 AD); its advantageous position suggests that it was probably a port of call for ships transporting grain from Egypt to Constantinople (now Istanbul).
The necropolis lies at the brow of the cliff, with tombs carved into the rock. Located at the centre of the settlement – on the neck of the cape – is the large, three-aisled ‘Basilica A’ with a baptistery adjacent on its west side. A smaller three-aisled basilica with a transept is annexed to the north side of the baptistery.
The similarly three-aisled ‘Basilica B’ lies at the foot of the southern slope of the cape, while the remains of the small three-aisled ‘Basilica C’ lie to the northeast of the settlement, with adjacent structures along the north side of a sacristy, an oil press, well, guest-house, and courtyard.
The place of pilgrimage of Ayios Georgios is located between the site of the basilicas and the necropolis. There is also a small chapel founded in the late thirteenth to early fourteenth centuries, also named after Ayios Georgios. The stone-built church of Ayios Georgios was a more recent addition.