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Monday, January 30, 2023

On the ancient path with the medieval bridges

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Suggestion for an excursion on the impressive path in the forest of Paphos with its infinite points of interest

Στο αρχαiο μονοπàτι με τα μεσαιωνικγεφyρια

Paris Dimitriadis

If you are in a walking, exploring and slightly sporty mood and want to enjoy a route full of points of interest and medieval history, then you only have to head to the path with the Venetian bridges located in the forest of Paphos, which in fact was the busy road that once connected the west coast of the island with the east!

With today's starting points either the community of Kaminaria or the village of Vretsia in Paphos, the path has a total length of 17 kilometers and requires about six hours to cross it from one end to the other. There is, of course, the possibility to walk as much as one wishes with the three Venetian bridges usually set by walkers as ending points in addition to points of interest! However, it is useful to note that the difficulty level of this path is 3.

The medieval bridges that cross rivers and all three date from the time when the Venetians ruled Cyprus are known as the bridge of Elia, the bridge of Tzielefou and the bridge of Roudia. In other words, you will have the opportunity to admire stone-built medieval bridges that are true masterpieces of our popular architecture and several centuries after they were built, they stand the test of time and stand with unique charm in hard-to-reach places and over wild banks with rushing waters during the winter. .

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With their impressive geometry, their even and advanced design and their resistance to time, these are essentially miraculous works of art that blend with the natural landscape so harmoniously that they are as if they are an integral part of it. Especially the bridge of Tzielefos needs a special mention as it is the largest such bridge that exists in Cyprus. Built on the Diarrizos River, it is located in the forest of Pafos, near the village of Agios Nikolaos and like the other two bridges on the path, it was built during the Venetian rule in Cyprus which lasted from 1489 to 1571.

Together with other bridges located in other areas, they all together constituted a complex of constructions that had been created to serve the access of the then inhabitants of the area. Beyond the bridges, on the trail you will enjoy points with wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and impressive biodiversity, with the route passing through dense pine forest in some places. The path also passes through the Arminos Dam and the Pera Vasa excursion site where the impressive dried trunk of a giant pine is located.

Then it passes through the farm of the Holy Monastery of Kykkos called Sauris, the Cave of Sauris, the so-called mantra of Mita and an observatory for native vultures! It is a very interesting ending to note that the three bridges cross the so-called “camel road”, which for centuries was the main trade route for transporting copper from the Pera Pedi mine to the ports of Paphos and Polis!

The transport to the port was done by camels and horses. It is believed that the route was the medieval connection of Paphos with the rest of the provinces, serving the needs and contacts of the inhabitants of the area by connecting the villages of the west bank with those of the east!

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Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy
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