Celestial Venus

The birth of Aphrodite in Kythira, according to mythology, was the event that determined the subsequent course of the island. According to the Theogony of Hesiod, Aphrodite was born in the foam of the sea of Kythira, when the genitals that Saturn cut off from his father Uranus fell on her. According to this version of the myth, then the waves carried away the goddess, who arrived in Paphos, Cyprus, where she was also worshiped as a goddess – protector of the island. 

Aphrodite is also said to have the nickname Kythereia from Kythira. She was worshiped in antiquity as Urania, goddess – protector of affection and pure love, with Kythira as the main place of worship. The foundation from the very early years of the temple of the goddess in Kythira gave the island the Homeric characterization “Zathea” that is Panagia.

In the area of today’s Paleopolis were built the “Upper Kythira” of Thucydides, the ancient capital of Kythira, at a distance of about 2 miles from the coastal Kythira, Skandia, the ancient seaport. The travelers of the 19th century write that on a large rock in the area 20 baths with pipes and grooves were carved that were called the baths of Aphrodite.

On the hill high above the sea in the area of Paleokastro was the throne of Aphrodite. Today in the same place the church of Saints Anargyroi Kosmas and Damianos is built in the style of a royal basilica. It belongs to the 7th century AD but from the narthex one can see columns and Doric capitals from the ancient temple of Aphrodite.

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