CYPRUS

   
                                                              Emblem of the Republic of Cyprus
 

The Republic of Cyprus is situated in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and lies 
at the hub of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. With an area of 9.521
 square kilometers, it is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily 
and Sardinia. Its size is equivalent to that of Lebanon in the Middle East 
and Connecticut in the USA.

By air, Cyprus is one hour from Athens, Egypt and Israel, two hours from Kuwait,
 three hours from Moscow and four hours from London and most European cities.

The capital of Cyprus is Nicosia, which is situated roughly in the center of the 
island and is the seat of government as well as the financial business center. 
All other major cities are situated on the coast, with Limassol second in size 
and being the main commercial port and industrial center as well as a 
tourist resort. Larnaca and Paphos are also popular holiday resorts and are 
both served by international airports.

Population
The island's population is estimated at 780.133  of which 250.000 are still displaced
refugees following the Turkish invasion of 1974

Greek and Turkish are the official languages of the Republic, but English is 
widely spoken, and is often used in business and government.

Climate
Cyprus has a most pleasant Mediterranean climate with approximately 300 sunny 
days a year. Summer lasts from June to September, with August being the hottest 
month with a mean maximum temperature of 36 degrees Celsius.

During Winter, the weather is mild, but changeable with January being the 
coldest month with a mean minimum temperature of 4 degrees Celsius. 
There is snow on the mountains from December to April, whilst the bulk of 
the rainfall is during the period November to March.

Occupied Cyprus - Brief History
On 20 July 1974, Turkey launched a brutal invasion against defenseless Cyprus, 
and using more than 40,000 heavily armed troops captured 37% of the island. 
The invasion of Turkey and the occupation of 37% of the island's territory as well 
as the continuing violation of the fundamental human rights of the people of 
Cyprus have been condemned by international bodies, such as the 
UN General Assembly, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Commonwealth 
and the Council of Europe. 

In 1974 200,000 Greek Cypriots, 33% of the total Greek Cypriot population,
were forced to leave their homes and were turned overnight into refugees. 
For the last 26 years these refugees have been denied one of the most basic of 
human rights, the RIGHT of RETURN and SETTLEMENT to their paternal homes. 

Cyprus at a Glance
Cyprus is an island of almost infinite variety; 2,200 square miles still remain 
under government control and in this area can be found superb mountain 
scenery, forests, fascinating coastlines and beaches as well as places of 
great historical and archaeological importance. 

A trip into the mountains will provide a refreshing change from the heat 
of the beaches, with delightfully fresh air, cool nights scented with the 
aroma of pine trees and wild herbs. 
The fruit blossom in the fertile valleys has to be seen to be believed, cherry, 
apple, pear, plum, almond. The mountains are dotted with picturesque little 
villages where true Cypriot hospitality abounds, where the donkey is a 
cherished beast of burden and where the nectarean village wine, 
untouched by chemical or  mechanical methods can be sampled.


NICOSIA

Capital of Cyprus since the 10th Century AD.
Places of Interest
The Cyprus Museum, containing works of art
found in Cyprus from the 
Neolithic (5,800 BC) to the Roman period(300 AD) ; 
St John's Cathedral, the Seat of the Greek Orthodox
 Church of Cyprus;  the Archbishopric; 
Folk Art Museum; the Venetian Walls; 
Laiki Geitonia, a small neighborhood of shops
and taverns carefully renovated  in the old style;
 the Cyprus Handicraft Center; 
the Nicosia Municipal Arts Center.

 


the Archbishopric

LIMASSOL


View Of Limassol



 
Temple of Apollo - Ancient Amathus  

LIMASSOL
the second largest town in Cyprus,
 industrial center and chief exporting town.
Center of the wine trade.

Places of Interest

Limassol Castle,
traditional wedding place of Richard of England
and Berengaria of Navarre;
Municipal Gardens and District Museum;
Westwards, 15th Century Castle of Kolossi,
built by the knights of St. John of Jerusalem;
the ancient Roman theatre of Curium;
Temple of Apollo;
the Phassouri Citrus Groves and vineyards;


Limassol Castle


Aerial view of
Limassol


Flag of the Republic
of Cyprus

LARNACA and District


Places of Interest: 
 Church of St. Lazarus, the Pierides Foundation Museum, 
with archaeological, medieval, post Byzantine and folk art collections; 
the Salt Lake, winter abode of migrant flamingoes; 
the Church of Panayia Angeloktisti at Kiti, containing the most
 famous Byzantine mosaic in Cyprus; 
Lefkara village, home of Cyprus lace. 
Kornos, a village thriving on its pottery industry. 
Stavrovouni Monastery founded in 327 AD by St. Helena who donated 
part of the Cross of Christ

 

 

PAPHOS

PAPHOS
Capital of Cyprus in Roman times-port
for pilgrims visiting
the Shrine of Aphrodite. 

Places of Interest
:
 The Harbor, first built in the time
of Alexander the Great;
 the Castle, rebuilt in 1592 AD; 
The Harbor,  first built in the time
of Alexander the Great;

   St. Paul's Pillar
 to which St. Paul was tied and scourged; 
the Tombs of the Kings;
the mosaics of the third century AD, 
the finest in the Mediterranean. 
Nearby, the Petra tou Romiou,
where Aphrodite emerged from the waves;
 The forest, home of the moufflon,
emblem of Cyprus Airways;  


Coral Bay - Paphos

- Petra tou Romiou -
(Rock Of Aphrodite)
where Aphrodite, Goddess of Love
emerged from the waves








Wildlife

       
as seen by Cypriot photographers  1996 Bank of Cyprus Group

The Cyprus moufflon is actually a type of wild sheep that combines the beauty
 of a deer and the agility of a goat. By 1938 only 15 to 20 animals remained in 
Cyprus and strict measures had to be enforced to preserve the species.   
In 1945, in order to ensure that the animals could  survive and reproduce in 
safety, it was decided to build a protective enclosure for them next to the area's 
main forest station. The decision worked, There was renewed interest
 in the plight of what was by then being considered as the "national" animal. 
The public became aware of its fight for survival.
 In 1967 the Government of Cyprus signed the "Form of Acceptance 
of Ultimate Responsibility of Rare Wildlife Species" for the moufflon, 
pledging to ensure the species" survival and well-being.

Tremendous efforts have been made since then-and the moufflon has survived.
 Although no one can cite numbers with certainty, they are now estimated to be 
at around 2000. In other countries, helicopter counts have been put into effect but, 
in Cyprus,  the thick vegetation of the moufflon's habitant limits the accuracy of 
this method.  At close quarters, in the safety of their enclosures, the moufflon have 
a characteristic stare, while remaining completely motionless- as in the wild they 
will then suddenly dart away at great speed. For this reason they are notoriously 
difficult to photograph, even within their enclosures.
The moufflon's connection with Cyprus is almost as long as the presence 
of man on the island. It is thought that they were brought here in Neolithic times
 (around 6000 BC) and that they were abundant in number, at least in the
  mountainous regions. The Forestry Department of Cyprus clearly specifies 
that the moufflon is an endangered species and will be protected at all costs. 
The moufflon has become a source of national pride for Cyprus.
 

CYPRUS BRIEF HISTORICAL SURVEY

PREHISTORY  ~ 10.000-8.500 BC

Pre-neolithic period. The earliest signs of life in Cyprus were discovered in the
small collapsed rock shelter of Aetokremnos (Eagle Cliff) in Akrotiri.
  (Limassol District Museum)

8th-7th millennium
The first steps of the neolithization of the island have recently come to light at the
Shillourokambos settlement of Limassol district (under excavation).

6800-3800BC
Neolithic Age. Remains of the best known settlement in Cyprus  dated to 
the earliest phase of that period can be seen at Khirokitia(6800-6000)
 between Nicosia and Limassol.

3800-2500 BC
Chalcolithic Age. The transitional period between the Neolithic economy 
to the Bronze Age one had been researched in the Chalcolithic site of Erimi.
( Limassol district Museum).

2500-1050 BC
Bronze Age. Metal work industry developed. Decisive changes in culture and 
economy during the Late Bronze Age (1650-1050 B.C.) henceforth determining  
the history of the island. Commercial contacts with the Aegean world established 
and Mycenaean's  (ancient Greeks) settled on the coasts of Cyprus. 
The Mediterranean indigenous people gradually assimilated creating a 
peripheral center of Greek culture.

HISTORY
1050-325 BC  ~  Waves of immigrants from mainland Greece(Arcadia), invasions by the Phoenicians and
successive submission to the Assyrian, Egyptian and Persian states.

333BC     ~ Alexander the Great destroyed the might of Persia and included Cyprus in 
the Macedonian state.

323 BC   ~ Alexander the Great died; Cyprus ruled by Viceroys of Ptolemy I of Egypt and his
successors. Capital transferred from Salamis to Paphos.

58-38 BC  ~ The first Roman occupation of Cyprus.

22 BC  ~  Government effected by a Proconsul who was directly responsible to Rome.

45 AD ~ Apostles Paul and Barnabas arrived in Cyprus to spread the Christian doctrine and succeeded in
converting the Proconsul, Sergius Paulus, to Christianity at Paphos. Cyprus then became the first country
 to be governed by a Christian.

116 AD ~ A general  revolt by the Jews against Roman power and the spread of Christianity included
 Cyprus where thousands of Cypriots and Jews were killed. As a result  further settlement of
Jews in Cyprus was forbidden.

324 AD ~ The beginning of the Early Christian period. Constantine the Great the new Roman Emperor
 founded Constantinople the new capital of the revived Roman (Byzantine empire).

395 AD ~ After the partition of the Roman Empire between the two sons of Emperor Theodosius,
Cyprus came under the Byzantine Empire with its Capital in Constantinople.

488 AD         ~          Patriarch of Antioch tried to bring the Church of Cyprus under his control. 
Archbishop  Anthemios of Cyprus, inspired by a dream, found the tomb of St. Barnabas
with a copy of St. Mathew's gospel which he showed to Emperor Zeno. The Emperor
accepted this as the status of the Church of Cyprus and granted the Archbishop imperial
privileges of holding a scepter instead of a pastoral staff, wearing a purple mantle and using red ink
 for his signature; privileges which are enjoyed today by His Beatitude the Archbishop.

7th-10TH CENTURIES   ~    Chiefly notable for continuous Arab raids on the island during which great 
destruction was caused, especially to churches and ecclesiastic art. Castles of  Kyrenia  and  
Saranta Kolones at Paphos built.

965 AD  ~  Arabs expelled from Asia Minor and neighboring coastal areas by Byzantine Emperor, 
 Nikiforos Focas, putting a stop to the raids. The advance of Seljukes in Asia Minor
and the  first crusade in the eleventh century obliged the Emperors
of Constantinople to turn Cyprus into a stronghold. It was then that the castles
of St. Hilarion,  Bufavento and Kantara were built.

1184  ~  Isaac Comnenos, usurped the Byzantine authority of Cyprus, declared 
himself independent ruler of Cyprus.

1191 ~  Part of Richard Coeur de Lion's fleet wrecked off  Limassol on the way to the third crusade.
Survivors included his fiancee, Berengaria of Navarre, who was discourteously 
treated by Comnenos.  Richard invaded and captured the island.

1192   ~  Richard transferred sovereignty to Guy de Lusignan, starting a 300-year dynasty.

1192-1489    ~  Cyprus ruled on the feudal system; Catholic church officially replaced the Orthodox
although the latter managed to survive in spite of many persecutions.However,
Famagusta became one of the richest cities in the Middle East. 

Many beautiful buildings erected, Bellapais Abbey, Nicosia and Famagusta Cathedrals,
 still to be seen. Peak of this period passed towards the end of the 14th Century;
Famagusta captured by the Genoese and Limassol sacked by the Egyptians.

1489-1571  ~  Period of rule by the Venetians who used Cyprus as a fortified base against the Turks.
Trade and culture languished and  heavy taxes imposed to pay for the fortifications.
In spite of this, Turkey successfully attacked Cyprus, gaining control of the island
after the fall of Famagusta which had heroically withstood the Turkish siege for a year.

1571-1878       ~~   Under Turkish rule a certain amount of autonomy was granted:
the Greek Orthodox Church being re-established and the Latin Church expelled.
Influence of Church increased considerably in 1821, mainland Greeks rebelled against Turks;
Cypriot Archbishop and other notables executed on suspicion of conspiracy.

1878  ~  Agreement between Great Britain and Turkey transferred administration of Cyprus to
Great Britain in exchange for help in the event of Russian hostility; annual rental fee
 paid to Turkey by Britain. Many reforms introduced.

1914  ~  Turkey entered the Great War against Great Britain who formaly annexed Cyprus from the Turks.

1959 ~ Following a four-year liberation struggle (E.O.K.A.), Zurich-London 
Agreements declared Cyprus should become an Independent Republic.

16 AUGUST 1960  ~ Cyprus was declared an independent republic. Cyprus became a member of the
United Nations, the British Commonwealth, the Council of Europe, the
Non-aligned Movement and other international organizations.

20 JULY 1974 ~ Using the coup d'etat against President Makarios as a pretext, Turkey invaded Cyprus
  in violation of international law, thus causing the worst calamity in its history:
37% of the territory of Cyprus, from which almost all its Greek Cypriot population
was uprooted, continues to be under occupation. A large number of Turkish settlers
 have been transferred to northern Cyprus with  the clear intention of changing the
 demographic character of the island. Moreover, the tradition and cultural heritage of Cyprus
 are being deliberately destroyed and churches and holy places are being desecrated.
The international community condemned the invasion and occupation of part of Cyprus
 by Turkey, and called  for the withdrawal of all foreign troops and settlers.

1977-1998 ~ Archbishop Makarios III, died after a heart attack on 3 August 1977. 
The leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Spyros Kyprianou, succeeded him as
President of Cyprus, who was re-elected for a second  term in February 1983. 
In  the 1988 presidential elections, Mr. George Vassiliou took office for five years.
Mr. Glafkos Clerides, a veteran politician was elected President of the Republic in 1993.
He was re-elected for a further five year tern in February 1998.
And nowadays, President of the Republic of Cyprus is Mr. Tasos Papadopoulos
New 2009 elected president for a further five years Mr. Christofias.

 



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Site Established  10-4-2001
Updated: July 31, 2012