Cyprus is the third largest island of the Mediterranean Sea. It is situated at the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa. This islands’ strategic geographic location, in conjunction with its agricultural and mineral wealth has been a major factor in shaping its history. Its earliest inhabitants where succeeded by waves of Mycenaean Achaean settlers who introduced their civilisation and culture to the island and eventually established its Greek roots. Many other conquerors passed through, including Phoenicians, Assyrians, Franks, Venetians, Romans, Crusaders, Ottomans and the British, who all left behind signs of their passage.
The apostles of Christ walked this island. The splendour of the Byzantium empire encompassed the island of Cyprus for many centuries.
There are prehistoric settlements, ancient Greek temples, Roman theatres and villas, early Christian basilicas, Byzantine churches and monasteries, castled built by the Crusaders, Gothic churches, Venetian fortifications, Islamic monuments and British colonial buildings.
Even though many conquerors passed from the island, Cyprus managed to keep its Greek identity, language and culture intact.
Unfortunately, from July 1974, a large part of the cultural heritage of Cyprus is under Turkish occupation. This cultural heritage has been seriously damaged.