The history and culture of Cyprus
When you visit Cyprus, you follow in the footsteps of historical giants from Alexander the Great to Cleopatra to the apostles of Christ.
Throughout history important leaders have seized upon the strategic location of the Island, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, in forging and defending their empires.
Cyprus knew periods of tumult as it came variously under Assyrian, Egyptian, Roman, Islamic, Crusader, Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman domination, but the inhabitants always remained singularly Cypriot.
Ancient empires and 10,000 years of history
It was in the late Bronze Age that Mycenaean Achaeans came to Cyprus, establishing the roots of Greek civilisation now more than 3,000 years old.
Copper was the hot commodity of the age and trade links were established with Egypt and the Aegean islands. The love goddess Aphrodite had a growing cult of followers.
A sense of continuity with history is the most distinct Cyprus signature, from evocative temple ruins that blend naturally with the landscape to contemporary crafts and festivals that take their inspiration from antiquity.
Theatres and archaeology museums are a must
Cyprus and archaeology go together like milk and honey. Little else is as evocative of a past by turns turbulent and romantic as the ancient ruins, which encompass theatres, temples and sanctuaries, tombs and entire towns.
From Neolithic sites or Roman mosaics, Cyprus is an open-air museum to behold. To fully chronicle our 10,000 years of history would take more Web pages than we could count, but consider just a few of the highlights.