2017 is a very special year for our charming city of Paphos – it is the year that it boasts the title as one of the two cities in Europe selected as ‘European Capital of Culture’. What exactly does this mean? It means that for the period of one calendar year, the city organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension, to highlight diversity of culture and a sense of belonging within the European community. Pafos2017 successfully kicked off the year with a wonderful opening ceremony which took place in Kennedy square (just outside the town hall) on 28th January 2017.
“Chairman of the Organisation puts it perfectly: this title European Capital of Culture offers the city of Pafos a great opportunity to improve its economy through its publicity on an international level and its acknowledgment as a quality cultural and tourist destination, to attract new investments, create new positions of employment, develop an open dialogue with society, motivate its citizens, change its vibe and “freshen up” its ideas.”
The town itself has undergone a lot of improvements, as part of 10 major infrastructure and development projects, with a price tag of around €26.2 million. The roadworks that came in tow were begrudged by many, however they have been more than worthwhile and even the sceptics were surprised to see the completion deadlines met – and the aesthetic results are just fantastic!
The works focused on Kennedy Square and the town’s traditional retail centre in Paphos Old Town, which have been pedestrianised and completely overhauled. There is a new plaza in front of the old police station as well as a new bus station and municipal, 200-space car park, located behind the old police station. The transformation of the Town Hall Square, Kennedy Square and the surrounding area really bring out the beauty of the existing old government buildings that are dotted around.
Since winning the bid in 2013 the city has already hosted a wide variety of cultural events and throughout this year 152 projects and more than 350 activities have been planned, with the participation of more than 1,500 artists.
Pafos2017’s motto is “Linking Continents – Bridging Cultures” and all events fall under their three main themes: Myth & Religion, World Travellers, and Stages of the Future. Open Air Factory is the main concept for the Pafos 2017 organisation, which means utilising a network of sections, units and workshops throughout the district (such as streets, school yards, archaeological sites) where people from all walks of life are invited to ‘create’, celebrating the outdoor living culture here.
Events throughout the year will include theatrical performances, dance performances, creative & group art and more – keep an eye on the official website for programme information and go along to experience some of the events for yourself: www.pafos2017.eu. We will also keep you updated on our Blog.
Paphos Old Town was already brimming with lots of trendy, arty cafes, restaurants and bars and the new upgrade to the area will only encourage more, as well as adding to the charm that it already boasts. It’s now a lovely area to wander around, to soak up the culture, enjoy a coffee whilst people watching or to dine and spend an evening. Head down there and check it out for yourself!
Old Town Hot Spots: our pick of the best
Dining: Koutourou Ouzeri – for fresh, homemade goodness /
To Plato Sushi & More – for fantastic sushi platters / Fettas Tavern – for mezes and live Greek music / Palia Ilektriki – for cultural dining.
Coffee shop: Vintage Art House Espresso Bar– pure retro coolness / Ananas 8 bit coffee – jazzy, arty, friendly vibes / Let Them Eat Cake – homemade delights.
Drinks: Craft – laid back, arty & eclectic / Timothy’s – rough diamond / Boulevard – where the cool kids go / Muse – classy cocktails with a view.
Music/Art: Technopolis 20 – the epitome of Pafos2017; cultural, traditional, arty & charming.