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Cyprus

Cyprus’ location made history. The surrounding empires and kingdoms plowed this island adding layers of civilization like in few places around the world. The ancient city states were conquered by Achaeans, Phoenicians, Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Frankish, Genoans, Venetians, Ottomans, Brits till they finally got their independence in 1960 just to be divided by Turkish forces that occupy the northern part of the island. Quite a cocktails of conquerors bringing their flavor of cultures, each of them leaving an imprint on the island.

Larnaka, once the city state of Kition, is a major port once commanding the sea trade after the famous and larger port in Famagusta was destroyed by Persians in the battle of Salamis and following earthquakes.

Cyprus’ capital, Nicosia, is the last divided capital in the world. A city cut in two by intransigence and political jockeying. For 40 years it was literally impossible to cross the Green Line, the border of conflict established by the Brits in 1963. No passage existed between these two parts of the city and relatives could see each other at only one bastion of the fortified wall that completely surrounds the city since medieval times. In early 2000, a numbers of passages were opened and people stream across the border from both side treating each other with civility. But the border stay enforced by Turkish forces that refuse to leave in an island that was received in the EU as a whole. Cyprus political status may sound confusing. The south is the Republic of Cyprus recognized by entire world as the only ruling entity of the island. On the north is a self declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), established at the invasion of July 20, 1974 that got its first civil government in 1983, recognized only by Turkey. From the European Union point of view the entire island is part of the EU with funds allocated for development for both South and North. However, because the TRNC government is not recognized the funds for the North are withheld till times will change. The TRNC citizens who were inhabitants of the island at the time of the partition carry EU passports but none of the newcomers from Turkey, Middle East and Central Asia who settled there with the Turkey’s blessing increasing the number of Muslim population and with it changing the proportion between Christians and Muslims. And the border is still there with machine gun holes that let you peek to the other side among the rubble where soldiers once standing there, created.

Like in any place close to the Greek world, Cyprus is oozing legends. Aphrodite’s birthplace is close to Paphos, a city full of royal tombs and mosaics “fresh” from the 2-4th century AD, a very recent time for the civilization on this part of Europe. Here, following St Paul’s steps are elements of early Christianity that added a deep significance to the future Cypriot church, considered a direct descendent of the apostles. No matter that St. Barnabas is credited with its founding, he traveled here together with St. Mark the Evangelist and St Paul landing in Salamis at 45AD spreading the new belief. Deep in the forests of the Troddos Massif are the painted monasteries founded a thousand years after by the monks, lairs of cult of a once banned but never forgotten belief.

 

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Cyprus Stock

3 hours of HD footage from these locations:

Larnaca, Lefkosia, North Nicosia, Pafos, Troodos

Cyprus Blogs