Ancient Sights of Cyprus

Ancient Sights of Cyprus

Cyprus holds the secrets and mysteries of numerous ancient civilizations, because the city has long been conquered many times by foreigners. Cyprus is at the center of these events, bearing the marks of different nations, different traditions and different cultures. This is why Cyprus is so loved by travelers, because its many attractions are a reason to come to this wonderful and amazing country.

Thus, Cyprus is simply a treasure trove of attractions, some of which can be traced back to the Neolithic era. From the times of Ancient Greece, Cyprus has left theaters, gymnasiums, palaces and buildings. And all this splendor of the ancient world wonderfully coexists with the beautiful buildings of Byzantine times, the mighty castles of the Crusades and the Orthodox churches that were built here in recent times. But first things first.

And we begin, perhaps, with the oldest age of Neolithic, because that’s when the first inhabitants of the island landed. Near the center of Cyprus, in a small village called Choirokoitia, there are still traces of an ancient settlement, which scientists attribute to the Stone Age. This ancient cultural heritage dates back to 6800 B.C., which in itself is extremely rare and unique. The monument is well preserved and now represents the cultural heritage of Cyprus. Next on the list is the Bronze Age – it was at that distant time Cyprus was becoming a city of necropolises. 2500-1000 years BC date the emergence of these ancient cities, the most important and most interesting of which can be called the necropolis of Venus. Near the village of Engomi the remains of the inhabitants of Cyprus in the Bronze Age are also noted. A small part of the ancient settlement, which was once the capital of that ancient Cyprus – Alasia.

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Choirokitia Village Ancient Landmarks of Cyprus

The ruins of the palace of Vouni is another place of historical value for Cyprus. It is here in the middle of the first millennium was built a magnificent palace, according to historians, which was built at the request of one of the Persian kings, whose number was great in Cyprus at the time. To this day the ruins bear the mark of ancient man’s stay here, and so archaeologists are still finding household items within the once remarkable palace, as well as excavating individual structures of the kitchen, bathhouse, courtyard and other parts of the palace.

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Ancient Landmarks of Cyprus

The house of Theseus, which is located near the port of Paphos, is noteworthy. It was once a huge palace designed for the life of the wealthy inhabitants of the island, with an abundance of bright halls and spacious rooms. The name of this beautiful and opulent spacious palace comes from the mosaic depicting Theseus fighting the Minotaur.

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Ancient Sights of Cyprus

Salamis is a city with a large number of ancient cultural monuments. In the 4th-7th centuries BC, before the emergence of Paphos, the city was the capital of the island, and therefore it had a vibrant and rich life. Among the cultural heritage historians most often distinguish the monuments belonging to early Christianity – the tomb of St. Catherine, the foundations of the basilica and some others. The sacred time for Cyprus has not passed in vain, and therefore on the island you can find the pride of Cypriots – the sanctuary of Aphrodite. Unfortunately, only some fragments and ruins of the former magnificence of the temple are left, but still being here allows you to touch the origins of ancient civilizations and feel their influence. By the way, the temple of Aphrodite itself is located in the place which is called the old Paphos – this city was the capital of Cyprus in ancient times. Pafos is rich in attractions – in addition to this sacred temple, there is another attraction – the Villa of Dionysus. There is a whole complex of settlements, and the monument itself has been very well preserved. The complex is called the villa of Dionysus, because up till now you can find mosaics, depicting scenes from the life of Dionysus, laid out on the floors of the settlement.

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Ancient Landmarks of Cyprus

The numerous sights of Paphos do not end here – very close to this once historical center of the island there are the remains of another sanctuary, named after Apollo Gilat. A special feature here is that from ancient times this beautiful and outlandish place still retains some of its elements. Historians have been able to discover a pilgrimage site and a place where sports games were held on the island. If you go east from this place, you can find another ancient settlement. Here are excavations of an entire ancient Cypriot city called Kourion. The city was founded during the Mycenaean period, but despite its fairly long history, managed to survive well. It is known that this city accommodated avid theatergoers of those times, because one of the best theaters in the country was located here. Surprisingly, it is still in operation – every summer you can enjoy the game, though not the ancient, but still actors, watching ancient comedies and tragedies.

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Ancient Landmarks of Cyprus

Attractions of Cyprus

Cyprus sights

Despite its compact size, the island of Cyprus is filled with ancient and new sights. The tourism industry is the heart of the Cypriot economy, so you’ll find both historical sites and entertainment venues in the big cities along the coast. Which Cypriot attractions are worth seeing first?

Cyprus sights

This attraction is dedicated to all lovers of antiquities. There are tombs, or rather the ruins of their walls, where once were buried in the rich tombs of noble nobles in the vicinity of Paphos. The tombs date back to the 3rd century BC.

Cyprus sights

In the capital of Cyprus sights are scattered, but if you look closely you can see a wonderful palace in pseudo-Venetian style, created in the 20th century.

This palace is a two-in-one attraction. Next to the residence of the Archbishop still stands an 18th century building, which used to be the home of the clergy.

For tourists in the palace opened a museum, a library and a nice art gallery. Also on the territory of the residence there is a real Orthodox Cathedral, where services and other religious events are held.

Cyprus sights

25 km from Paphos city, among the trees and rocks there is a small grotto with azure water, hiding from prying eyes. It is called the Bath of Aphrodite. According to ancient legend in this water the Goddess of Love loved to take baths. Here the beautiful goddess met Adonis who later became her lover. Today it is forbidden to bathe in these waters, but the glory of this water as the best rejuvenating remedy is still thundering among the tourists.

Cyprus sights

In essence this castle in the harbor of Limassol is a simple fort. It was built during the Ottoman Empire. The first fort on the site was erected in the 4th century. Then a basilica and another Byzantine fort were erected in the castle. The story of the wedding of Richard the Lionheart and Princess Berengaria is linked to this fort.

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Cyprus sights

When hostilities broke out in North Cyprus, the whole town was rendered uninhabitable. At one time Varosha was known as the best resort in Cyprus.

In 1974, all residents and employees of the resort were hastily evacuated. Then deserted concrete boxes of houses and hotels were surrounded by a fence. Now the deserted beaches and empty windows of houses look pretty gloomy, but tourists still come to Varosha to get in touch with history and to tickle your nerves.

Cyprus sights

An ancient town, of which only ruins are left, was the largest city of Cyprus in the 12th century BC. In the 4th century B.C. some misfortune happened to the city. A serious earthquake happened there. The surviving inhabitants left there and Kurion was left lying in ruins. Frescoes, walls of houses and a large amphitheater, which is so admired by tourists, have been preserved in this place until today.

Cyprus sights

Men’s monastery, which has an amazing history, and today accepts sightseeing buses on its territory. Having visited the monastery, you can see ancient icons, a Christian museum and the magnificent monastery library. Although the miraculous icon of the Mother of God in the monastery is now covered with a silver cover, prayers continue to be offered to it, asking for a miracle and healing.

Cyprus sights

The monastery of Our Lady of Napa, of the same name as the town, was built at the spot where the legend says the miraculous icon of Our Lady was found.

There is a version that the first nun of the monastery was a noble Venetian girl who disobeyed her parents and went to live as a hermit in a cave to pray to God.

The cloister in the city was lucky to “make it” to our time without any reconstructions, fires or significant reconstructions. Historians believe that the monastery was built in the 15th century.

Cyprus sights

The oldest Cypriot monastery is based on a mountain near the city of Larnaca. There is an important Christian relic in the monastery – a fragment of the cross on which Jesus was crucified. For a long period the monastery has experienced bad times: armed attacks, fires, poverty. Now the monastery has been restored and is open for tourist visits.

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Cyprus sights

The unique religious construction in different periods was used as a Christian temple, a cathedral and later as a mosque. In the land of Cyprus Selemie has been standing for 150 years. The architectural style in which the building of the mosque is made, refers to the Cypriot architecture. Since the structure has changed its purpose several times, its appearance has changed with the new format of the building.

Cyprus sights

These catacombs are on the list of the main shrines of Cyprus. According to Christian tradition, St. Solomonia and her sons died in these underground tunnels.

Solomon suffered for her faith in Christ. She and her family escaped from the persecutor Antiochus the Fourth, but the king’s servants found the woman and her children and brutally murdered them in the Cypriot catacombs.

First Solomonia’s children died, then she herself died at the hands of her killers. Until her last breath, her mother’s lips whispered a prayer for the glory of God. Subsequently, Solomonia was canonized by the Orthodox Church.

Cyprus sights

There is a cleft in the rock on the plateau of Laona. The slopes of the cliffs of the gorge are wrapped with green shrubs and pink flowers. Many slopes of the gorge are available for hiking without special equipment. Feature of the gorge is considered a narrow gap, which was opened in 2003. It is impossible to squeeze through there a man, but behind these walls is hiding a whole underground world.

Cyprus sights

The picturesque cliff is popular among tourists, because in the evenings it offers a stunning view of the sunset and the sea. People specially come to the cape to enjoy a marvelous spectacle. In the sea near the cape there are great opportunities for diving. There is an opinion among tourists that the best photos are taken on the Cape Greco.

Cyprus sights

The salt lake system near Larnaca consists of 4 independent lakes, which together occupy an area of 2 sq km. The picturesque surroundings and developed tourist infrastructure attracts hundreds and thousands of tourists to the lakes each year.

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In the warm season flamingos come to the lakes. A beautiful spectacle of swimming birds is better to watch at sunset.

Also in this place gulls and ducks regularly spend time. Cormorants also come to the lake. Despite the high salt levels in the lakes of Larnaca there is enough food for all the above mentioned birds.

Cyprus sights

Lefkara tourist village is built in the true Cypriot style. Streets paved with light stone, interesting facades of houses and numerous cafes make a pleasant impression on tourists. Besides seeing the sights of the village, there you can buy handmade silverware and local lace, which the Cypriot artisans also make by hand.

Cyprus sights

Another village worthy to drive a full hour from Limassol. The ancient buildings of the village houses are located high in the mountains. Narrow and winding paths, twisting in spirals, look like small mazes. A compact embankment at the Old Mill completes the idealistic picture of peace and antiquity.

Cyprus sights

Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa is hugely popular. Trendy DJs throw rousing parties on the white sand of the beach. The bay of the beach is divided by a sand spit in half, allowing the water in it to warm up more than in the rest of the area. Rest in Nissi Beach is suitable for large companies and people who do not tolerate solitude. Along the coast are the best hotels and restaurants of the resort. Life on this beach beats even at night.

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