Cyprus is a wonderful island in the Mediterranean, offering its visitors a hot climate and an abundance of rich culture and history. Many tourist flock to the island year after year due to its beaches, host of activities and the locals too. There’s so much to be said for this island, so let us begin by letting you in on a few fascinating facts about Cyprus.
Greek goddess of love
It is said that Cyprus is the birthplace of the Greek goddess of love – Aphrodite. Her birthplace is Petra tou Romiou which is along the coastline in popular tourist destination, Paphos. Legend has it that Aphrodite was born out of the sea foam on the island. Petra tou Romiou is an interesting landscape as there is a formation of large rocks along the coastline. In fact, Petra tou Romiou literally means ‘Rock of the Roman’, but it is also known as ‘Aphrodite’s Rock’.
An island divided
Cyprus has famously been an island that is split into two. The north and the south. Most people would remember the two halves as being ‘Greek Cyprus’ and ‘Turkish Cyprus’. In fact, the northern part of the island is actually called the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’, whilst the south is called the ‘Independent Republic of Cyprus’. This division started in 1974, when Turkey invaded the northern part of the island. This was in response to a military coup on the island which was backed by the Greek government. Cyprus’ capital of Nicosia is split by what is known as ‘The Green Line’. This divide is also the UN buffer zone and it also makes Nicosia the only capital in the world to be split between two nations.
Paphos – A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Paphos is of course known as the birthplace of Aphrodite, but it has so much more to offer as well like the Tomb of Kings. Due to its overwhelming number of interesting sites, the whole town was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are several ancient ruins available to see in Paphos since it was inhabited since the Neolithic period. Making this town a significant find when it comes to Cyprus’ cultural importance.
Are you a wine lover? Well then, perhaps a trip to Cyprus will suffice. The island is one of the oldest wine producers in the world. Its history of wine dates back for over 5000 years and Cyprus still takes pride in one of its oldest wines to date, as it is still in production. So, as you can imagine, it’s not unfamiliar to come across wineries whilst you’re on the island.
Speaking of old liquids… the oldest perfume in the world was found in Cyprus. The bottles of perfume were found quite recently in 2007 in the city of Pyrgos. They were kept in small clear bottles with extracts of herbs like rosemary, coriander and lavender. When the archaeologists found these bottles, they also found mixing bowls and funnels. These things has been covered and hidden since the earthquake back in 1850 BC.