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
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
Even though many conquerors passed from the
island, Cyprus managed to keep its Greek identity, language and culture
Unfortunately, from July 1974, a large part of
the cultural heritage of Cyprus is under Turkish occupation. This
cultural heritage has been seriously damaged.