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Cyprus

Cyprus facts

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 28, 2007 at 11:06:09 :: Cyprus

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, with an area of 9.251 sq.km. It is situated in the north-eastern end of the Mediterranean basin, at a distance of 402km north of Egypt's Nile Delta, 103km west of Syria and 71km south of Turkey.

Cyprus, not only survived several conquerors over the centuries but what is more managed to maintain its own civilization assimilating the various influences which it received. It remained a centre of Greek culture with its own character. Today however, it is endangered by the violent uprooting of its population and the division which the Turkish army imposed when it invaded the island in 1974 and occupied 37% of its territory.

Administratively, Cyprus is divided into six districts. Nicosia, Famagusta, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos and Kyrenia. The towns of Famagusta and Kyrenia were captured by the Turkish troops during their invasion of Cyprus in July-August, 1974, and are still under occupation.

The Petra Tou Romiou (Rock of the Greek), or the Rock Of Aphrodite located off the old Pafos-Lemesos road; according to legends, Aphrodite came from the see exacly in that place, north of Paphos


The official population of the island is 754.800, of which approximately 84% are Greek Cypriots, 12% Turkish Cypriots, 1% are small minorities (Maronites, Armenians, Latins) and 3% foreign residents and workers. Greek and Turkish are the official languages. English is widely spoken, French and German are also spoken though not as widely as English.
Cyprus is an independent sovereign Republic with a presidential system of government. The island's capital and seat of Government is Nicosia, with a population of 180.000 including suburbs.

Facts about Cyprus:

- Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily and Sardinia.

- Cyprus is said to be the birthplace of Aphrodite (Venus), the Greek goddess of love. The myth says that she rose from the sea at Petra tou Romiou in Pafos.

- Copper has been mined in Cyprus for thousands of years. The name Cyprus probably derives from the Greek for copper - kypros.

Castle of Kolossi or Kolossi Castle, stronghold a few kilometers outside the city of Limassol on the island of Cyprus


- The philosopher, Zeno of Kition the founder of Stoicism, was born in Larnaka but later lived in Athens.

- Paphos, both the Greek and the Roman capital of Cyprus, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

- The Tombs of the Kings in Pafos are underground tombs, carved out of rock around the fourth century BC.

- The Church of Agia Faneromeni, in Larnaka, was built over a cave in the eighth century.

- Richard the Lionheart, King of England, married Berengaria of Navarre in Limassol Castle.

- Kolossi Castle was the headquarters of the Knights of St. John also known as the Templars.

- Britain annexed Cyprus at the beginning of the First World War. In 1925 the island became a British Colony.

- Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960.

- "The Green Line" is the name of the border in Nicosia between the Greek and Turkish communities. It was so called because the line was drawn on the map with a green pencil (1963). (Source http://www.worldinfozone.com)

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UNESCO World Heritage

Cyprus, Choirokoitia

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 03, 2013 at 05:25:48

Location District of Larnaca, Cyprus
Coordinates N34 47 53.988 E33 20 35.988
Property 6.20 ha
Date of Inscription 1998

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/848 )

The Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia, occupied from the 7th to the 4th millennium B.C., is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the eastern Mediterranean. Its remains and the finds from the excavations there have thrown much light on the evolution of human society in this key region. Since only part of the site has been excavated, it forms an exceptional archaeological reserve for future study.

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Circular structures, Choirokoitia Choirokoitia

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Cyprus, Painted Churches in the Troodos Region

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 03, 2013 at 05:10:52

Location Troodos Region, Districts of Nicosia and Limassol, Cyprus
Coordinates N34 55 13 E33 5 45
Date of Inscription 1985

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/351 )

This region is characterized by one of the largest groups of churches and monasteries of the former Byzantine Empire. The complex of 10 monuments included on the World Heritage List, all richly decorated with murals, provides an overview of Byzantine and post-Byzantine painting in Cyprus. They range from small churches whose rural architectural style is in stark contrast to their highly refined decoration, to monasteries such as that of St John Lampadistis.

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St. Michael church, Painted Churches in the Troodos Region Ayios Nikolaos tis Steyis, Painted Churches in the Troodos Region

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Cyprus, Paphos

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 04, 2009 at 07:19:03

Location Paphos, Cyprus
Coordinates N34 45 29.988 E32 24 20.016
Type Cultural
Date of Inscription 1980

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/79 )

Paphos has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. It was a centre of the cult of Aphrodite and of pre-Hellenic fertility deities. Aphrodite's legendary birthplace was on this island, where her temple was erected by the Myceneans in the 12th century B.C. The remains of villas, palaces, theatres, fortresses and tombs mean that the site is of exceptional architectural and historic value. The mosaics of Nea Paphos are among the most beautiful in the world.

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Paphos Castle Tombs of the Kings Ayios Georgios, Paphos

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