Cyprus, also called the island of Aphrodite, is the largest island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and covers an area of 9,251 sq km. This romantic island, divided into Greek and Turkish-Cypriotic sections, is an attractive travel destination for the foreign visitor
Cyprus, also called the island of Aphrodite, is the largest island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and covers an area of 9,251 sq km. This romantic island, divided into Greek and Turkish-Cypriotic sections, is an attractive travel destination for the foreign visitor. The beauty of its landscape, the sunny climate, the variety of attractions, and the excellent cuisine makes Cyprus a fascinating country for the foreign visitor.
Cyprus is divided into 6 provinces (Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, Famagusta, Kyrenia) and has a population of more than 700,000 inhabitants. The crystal clear blue water, the beautiful beaches, the hilly region around Troodos, the fauna and flora, the interesting archeological sites are the main reason to visit this beautiful island of Aphrodite.
The mythology of Cyprus is associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Petra Tou Romio (the rock of Aphrodite) is undoubtedly place number one of interest in Cyprus and located along the main road from Paphos to Limassol.
Aphrodite was supposed to be born from the white foam of the waves of the sea. When she emerged from the foam, the gold dressed Horae received her with joy and placed a beautiful gold crown on her head. She came to rest at Kouklia (Palaepafos) where her temple was found. This temple can’t be visited anymore because it is ruined.
The baths of Aphrodite is another important place of interest which reminds the goddess of love and is located along the coast from Lachi. After swimming, Aphrodite was used to take her bath in this pool. According to the legend, it is the place where she always bathed with her love Adonis.
However, the goddess Aphrodite is everywhere in Cyprus; there are many other places of interest to visit:
Nicosia is the capital of the island Cyprus since medieval times and is the largest town of the island of Aphrodite. The Green line divided Nicosia into a Greek and Turkish section. The Venetian Walls of Nicosia were constructed between 1567 and 1570. The Famagusta gate is considered to be the most beautiful Venetian monument which could survive in Nicosia. The Archbishop’s palace is the most impressive building which you find near the Famagusta gate and was built in byzantine style between 1956 and 1960.
The Archaeological Museum of Nicosia is a jewel in this beautiful town and houses items from the Neolithic period to early Byzantine times. It is the largest and most important archeological museum of entire Cyprus and built in 1908.
The statue of Liberty is another beautiful monument in Nicosia and was created by Notaras. This monument lies on a bastion of the medieval walls. The Goddess Liberty can be seen on the highest point and glances at the two soldiers who open the door of the prison. The other persons represent different types of Cypriots.
Limassol is the second largest town on Cyprus with a coastline of 16 km. A beautiful castle in the province Limassol is the medieval castle of Kolossi. This castle was built in the 13th century by the Lusignans and is surrounded by many vineyards and sugar-cane plantations. The castle has a height of 23 meters and its walls are 3meters thick.
The archeological site of Kourion, built on a hill is one of the most impressive sites on the island Cyprus. You can view the bay of Episkopi and the bay of Limassol on the right and left side of the archeological site of Kourion. The archeological site of Kourion includes an ancient Roman theatre with a capacity of 3,500 spectators, the house of Eustolios, the House of the Gladiators and the House of Achilles. The mosaics in these houses are impressive.
Larnaca is the third largest town on Cyprus, the island of Aphrodite. The Church of Ayios Lazaros was built in the 9th century by emperor Leo VI to house the tomb of Saint Lazarus and is one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture on the island Cyprus. Some beautiful paintings and relics can be admired in this beautiful church.
Another important building in Larnaca is the Mosque Hala Sultan Tekke which is lying at the edge of the salt-lake. The most significant component of Tekke is the grave of Um Haram. The site Tekke is the third most important Muslim religious site in the world.
*The Troodos mountains
The Troodos mountains stretches across the center of the island Cyprus. Mount Olympus is with a height of 192 meters the highest point in this mountain area. It is a beautiful area for walking and you can visit beautiful byzantine monasteries and churches. The Kykkos monastery is the most famous and wealthiest monastery on Cyprus and is located at a height of 1150 meters above sea level. The Monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Maria of Eleousa and houses the holy icon of the Mother of God and one of the three icons painted by St. Luke the evangelist.
Some other churches which are worthwhile to visit in the Troodos Mountains are the Church of Our Lady of Asinou, church Panagia Podithou the church of Archangel Michael.
Paphos is for many tourists one of the most beloved places on the island Cyprus. According to the legend, the town was founded by Paphos, son of Pygmalian and Galatea. Pygmalion made an ivory statue of a woman which was so beautiful that Aphrodite brought it to life. Pygmalion married Galatea and named their son Paphos. Paphos founded the city near the place where the goddess Aphrodite was born. As a sign of gratitude, Paphos dedicated this city to Aphrodite.
Besides the rock of Aphrodite and the bath of Aphrodite, there are numerous beautiful places to visit in Paphos:
*Tombs of the Kings
The tombs of the Kings (also called Palaikastra) are located in the northwest of ancient Paphos represent the necropolis of Paphos with hundreds of underground rock-hewn tombs. The tombs are those of individuals. The name “Royal tombs” derives from the fine architecture which was used.
*The Mosaics of Paphos
The finest mosaics which are discovered in Cyprus can be seen near the harbor. There are different Roman buildings in this area, for example the House of Odeion, Agora and Asklepieion of Paphos.
*The House of Aion
The central panel of the main room is divided in 5 smaller rooms and depict 5 mythological scenes such as Leda and the Swan, the Epiphany of Dionysus, the beauty contest between Cassiopeia and the Nereids, the punishment of Marsyas, the Bathing of Dionysus. In the center you can view a depiction of the God Aion.
Coral Bay is a sandy beach in Paphos and bordered by the rock of coral limestone. Many people are swimming in Coral Bay or lying near the beach. It is a wonderful place to relax and you can enjoy the sights of this crystal blue water.
Cyprus is a favorite tourist destination for many travelers. It is a cultural highlight where visitors can admire prehistoric settlements, ancient Greek temples, Byzantine churches and monasteries, beautiful castles, Turkish mosques and beautiful beaches with crystal clear blue water. Cyprus, the island of Aphrodite may be considered as one of the most beautiful places in Europe and offers a beautiful landscape, a superb Mediterranean climate and an excellent cuisine. Cyprus is for most travelers a top destination which will be etched in their memories forever.
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