Culture in Cyprus - The History of the Island in Dates & Figures

On Cyprus you will encounter one of the oldest cultures in the world. Over 10,000 years of human history can be traced here. In ancient times, Cyprus supplied the world with copper, hence the Latin name cuprum for the metal. The island is strategically located at the intersection of three continents. It is not surprising that it resembles a huge open-air museum, where different cultures and epochs have left their traces. The cult of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, flourished here and pilgrims from all over the world came to worship her. Even today, the locals celebrate "Anthestiria", the spring flower festival.

historic street in cyprus

Cyprus was the first country visited by the Apostles Paul and Barnablas on their missionary journey, and the first to identify itself as Christian. In Paphos stands a stone column where, according to legend, Paul was flogged before converting the governor of Rome to Christianity.
Many Byzantine art treasures are preserved here to this day, magnificently painted churches with colorful frescoes on the walls and apses. Ten of them have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

History table of Cyprus

  • 7000-1050 B.C. - Cyprus is settled from the Asia Minor mainland
  • 1050-294 BC - Period of city kingdoms
  • 294 B.C. - 391 A.D. - Cyprus becomes a province of the Egyptian Ptolemaic Empire and Roman in 58 B.C.
  • 391-1191 - Eastern Roman and later Byzantine Empire
  • 1191-1489 - The island is ruled by Frankish kings
  • 1489-1571 - Cyprus belongs to Venice
  • 1571-1878 - Cyprus becomes part of the Ottoman Empire
  • 1878-1960 - British rule
  • 1963-1964 - Civil war begins, UN peacekeepers arrive on the island
  • 1974 - Turkish invasion of Cyprus, partition of the island
  • 1983 - Unilateral proclamation of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
  • 2004 - Southern Cyprus becomes EU member
  • 2008 - Euro becomes new currency in Southern Cyprus
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