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September 10, 2017 by Chris Christou

1) Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus. The Green Line that divides Greek territory from Turkish territory passes through Nicosia. That makes Nicosia the world’s only divided capital city.

2) Limassol is the second largest city in Cyprus. It is also the Island’s main port. Wine lovers will enjoy a visit to Limassol, because it is the center of Cyprus’ wine industry.

3) There are several old castles in Cyprus. One of the oldest is the Castle of Kolossi. It was built in the 13th Century. A number of invaders have sought to destroy or damage this castle, yet much of it remains intact.

4) There are a number of archaeological sites in Cyprus. One such site served as the location for the Courion digging expedition. The Courion diggers looked for treasures in the area adjacent to the acropolis, an ancient Cypriot theater.

5) Visitors to Cyprus often visit the tombs of the past kings. One group of tombs can be found in Nicosia. Those are the tombs of the Kings of Tamassos. They contain unpainted pottery and the first pottery wheel to be used by the pottery-makers of Cyprus. The articles found in these tombs have indicated that those buried in the tombs lived during the Bronze Age.

6) There are a number of monasteries in Cyprus. The oldest is the Monastery of Ayiss, which was founded in 400 AD. It is located close to Tamassos. One of the most spectacular monasteries is the Kykkos Monastery. It was founded in the 11th Century, and it contains a monument to Archbishop Makarios III, the first President of Cyprus.

7) There are a number of museums in Cyprus. Two of those museums help a visitor in Cyprus to learn more about the art and culture of the Island. Both of those museums are found in Pafos. They are the Ethnographic Museum and the Geroskipou Museum of folk art.

8) There are a number of tourist sites that feature places mentioned in Greek myths. One such site is the Rock of Aphrodite near Pissouri Village. Is rises above the waters in Paphos Harbor. Another mythical site is the Baths of Aphrodite. The visitor to that spot can picture the goddess of love and beauty bathing in those lovely waters.

9) Not far from the Baths of Aphrodite is the Paphos forest. That forest attracts visiting biologists. One of the animals in that forest is the mountain sheep. The people of Cyprus call the mountain sheep “Moufflon.” The forest is also a great place to watch for foxes and vultures.

10) Biologists in Cyprus also like to visit Lara Beach. This is the one spot in Cyprus where the sea turtles build their nests. Visitors can sometimes catch a sea turtle swimming in the waters off of Lara Beach.

The above 10 places only highlight the many historical and beautiful sites in Cyprus. The visitor should ask for assistance in finding all of the out-of-the-way buildings that house articles of interest. For example, a Bible lover might want to look on Cyprus for the spot where Paul converted to Christianity. After that conversion, Cyprus became the first country to be governed by a Christian.

Tourists looking for a souvenir that is truly unique to Cyprus should go to Lefkara. This village is where most of the Cypriot lace is made. A tourist will discover that the lace does not come from any sort of factory. Instead, many of the females in Lefkara spend hours sitting on their doorsteps and using their nimble fingers to design the delicate lace material.

Too often tourists concentrate on the villages along the coast, and they then neglect to visit Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. Nicosia is the world’s only divided capital. Despite having this sad claim, Nicosia also offers much information about the time when Cyprus was less divided. It has a wonderful archaeological museum. In addition, the Mayor has supervised the renovation of many traditional buildings.

Tourists who desire a truly sweeping view of the Cypriot coastline should plan to visit the village of Pissouri. Located on a hillside, it provides visitors with a chance to see 20 miles of the coastline that greeted the ancient invaders of Cyprus. No doubt some of the ancient lookouts stood guard at a spot close to Pissouri. While standing on that spot they could see who was approaching Cyprus from the south.

Pissouri also offers tourists a chance to taste the delicious sultana grapes. A tourist might want to purchase a bunch of such grapes on a Wednesday night during the summer. Then that tourist could sit back and eat those grapes while enjoying the music of a Cyprus Night. Each such Night reminds the Greeks of an important part of their culture that must be retained.

The Turkish invasion of 1974, which led to the destruction of many monuments, churches and antiquities, could have done more harm to the culture of Cyprus. If it had not been curtailed, it might have put an end to musical programs such as the weekly Cyprus Night, a part of the summer entertainment in Pissouri.

The invasion of 1974 really brought to Cyprus a prelude of modern history. Sadly, Cyprus has been an important part of modern-day history. A visitor to Cyprus might want to discover the spots that were mentioned during TV reports.

A visitor to Cyprus might want to visit the harbor where boats from Lebanon would land during the battle between Israel and the Hezbollah. A visitor to Cyprus might want to visit the airport, where refugees would board planes, planes bound for either the United States or a European country. One well-respected obstetrician used that airport in the early 1980s. A plane out of Cyprus allowed him to return to the US from a visit to his home in Lebanon. A plane out of Cyprus allowed him to get to UCLA, where he did an amniocentesis on a woman who was pregnant with triplets.