birthplace of the legendary Aphrodite, the goddess of love, Cyprus was the place
where the mythical gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece chose to dance and play.
the origins of the name Cyprus are uncertain, it is mentioned in the Iliad, where
Homer refers to it as "Kypros", which is Greek for the henna plant which flourished
on the island..
history spans 9000 years. Prized for her strategic trading position, she has been
feted, colonised, ruled and divided by a myriad of civilisations.
is reputed that Caesar even made a gift of the island to Cleopatra, as a token
of his love. Egypt, Persia, Lebanon, Britain, all these countries and more have
played their part in shaping the unique cultural blend that is Cyprus.
you can still see their influence, in the magnificent Byzantine frescoes hidden
in the ancient churches dotted across the land, in the castles and palaces dating
back to the days of Richard the Lion Heart and the Crusaders, in the splendid
city walls built when the Venetians were fending off the Ottomans, and in the
use of English language dating back to British rule from 1914 to 1960.
In 1974 Turkey invaded, occupying the northern part of the island. Although there
is no fighting, thousands of people have been displaced and Cyprus has been divided
a Western nation, Cyprus has successfully sought entry into the European Union and became a member in 2004.