Aphrodite's Gardens

Published 17th of September, 2022

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Geroskipou has a long and interesting history that begins in antiquity. But what made its culture particularly important is its connection with the cult of Aphrodite, since it was in the soil of Geroskipou that there were found the Sacred Gardens of the goddess of love and beauty. According to Strabo, the ancient Greek geographer, the procession of the faithful passed through these gardens and ended at the Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Palaipafos on the occasion of the performance of the "Afrodisia", the annual festival held in honour of the goddess.

The Green, Green Grass...


According to ancient sources as well as evidence from foreign travellers and historians, the Sacred Gardens of Aphrodite lay to the south of Geroskipou on the plain that extends from below the rocky eminence on which the old settlement was built until it reaches the sea. They were irrigated from springs that flowed from several points on the rocky slopes.

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Kato Vrysi comprises an ancient reservoir that was used until the first decades of the 20th century for drinking water and irrigation and for other needs of the village, while the troughs were used by the inhabitants for washing clothes in. Popular tradition claims that this water, which flows in an underground tunnel under the churchyard of the church of Agia Paraskevi, is miraculous ("Holy Water"), since it was connected with the treatment of eye diseases.

The Spring


In antiquity Kato Vrysi must have had a role in the worship of the goddess Aphrodite, as seems to be the main source of water supply of the Sacred Garden. Important information enhancing the above version, gives us, in the first volume of his work "Travels of All Bey", the Spanish traveller Domingo Badia y Leyblich, known with the Arab pseudonum Ali Bey al-al-Abbasi, who visited Geroskipou in 1806:

The next day, Friday, April 25, I paid my visit to the sacred garden of Venus. It is a plain, a mile broad and stretching about two miles along the seashore, to which it falls in a gentle slope. Limestone rock in horizontal strata, with a perpendicular fall, encloses it on the higher side; you could fancy the garden were underground, because to enter it from any side you must descend through a ravine. Just below the village of Yeroschipos, in the garden, is the chief spring. This too issues from the slope of the rock, and gives excellent water, like all the springs in the garden, in great abundance.

Opening Date


It looks like the latest incarnation of this spring was completed in 1913, though I think it has been renovated since then.

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