The history and culture of Cyprus are considered among the oldest in the world. The first signs of civilization are traced to archaeological excavations dating back to the 7th millennium BC. The rich cultural landscape of Cyprus includes hundreds of archaeological sites scattered all over the island, representing various historical periods in the course of Cyprus.
The discovery of copper in Cyprus in the 3rd millennium BC brought wealth to the island and developed trade. However, although Cyprus is geographically at the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa and is a meeting point for the great civilizations of the world, Cyprus has developed and maintained for centuries its own culture. It remained a center of Hellenic culture with Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, French, Venetian, Ottoman and British influences.
The Department of Antiquities of Cyprus is responsible for managing, preserving, protecting and preserving the rich archaeological heritage of the island. Its activities include areas such as excavations and preservation of findings, the preservation of ancient monuments, the protection of ecclesiastical art, the restoration of traditional architecture buildings, etc. The aim of all these activities is to promote the unique cultural heritage of the island .
Along with the archaeological excavations carried out, efforts are being made to preserve and protect the ancient monuments and antiquities. This includes the reconstruction and / or preservation of ancient theaters, sanctuaries, castles, churches and other monuments of all kinds, as well as movable finds, handicrafts, icons, objects of religious and folk art dating back to the Neolithic Age.
The Cypriot Museum in Nicosia houses the richest and most representative collection of Cypriot antiquities on the island. In its fairgrounds one can see some of the most important pieces of Cypriot art and form a comprehensive picture of the Cypriot civilization from the Neolithic period to the Roman times. There are also archaeological museums in all the cities, two local museums in Episkopi (Limassol) with the antiquities of Kourion and Kouklia (Paphos) with the antiquities of Palaipafos, Folk Art Museums in Geroskipou, Lefkara and Fikardo and the Ethnological Museum Chatzigeorgaki Kornesiou) in Nicosia. Most of the ancient monuments and archaeological sites of the island are open to the public and guests can take a tour. The ancient theaters have been fully restored and available for many theater, dance, music and other performances.
Representative collections of mobile antiquities in Cyprus are sent for exhibition abroad. Cypriot antiquities are also the subject of a scientific study of international conferences and seminars related to archeology. One of the achievements of the Department of Antiquities is the inclusion in 1980 of the antiquities of Palaipafou (Kouklia) and Nea Pafos (Kato Paphos) in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In 1986, nine Byzantine churches are located in the area of Troodos, those of Agios Nikolaos of Steeg in Kakopetria, St. John of Lampadis in Kalopanayiotis, Virgin Mary of Moutoula in Moutoula, Archangelos in Pedoulas, Panagia of Podithos in Galata, Stavros Agiasmati in Platanistza and Panagia Asinou near Nikitari village were also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
LIST OF 13 MEMBERS OF CYPRUS INCLUDED IN THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE LIST
Paphos, Area of Palaipafos (Kouklia)
New Paphos, (Mosaic)
Kakopetria, Church of Agios Nikolaos of Stegi, 11th c. - Frescoes
Kalopanayiotis, Monastery of St. John of Lampadistis, 11th c. - Murals
Nikitari, Church of Panagia Asinou, 12th cent. - Murals
Lagoudera, Church of Panagia Arakos, 12th c. - Murals
Moutoula, Church of the Virgin Mary, 13th-14th cent. - Murals
Pedoulas, Church of Archangel Michael, 15th c. - Mural paintings
Pelendri, Church of the Holy Cross, 13th-15th c. - Murals
Galata, Church of Panagia of Podithos, 16th century - Murals
Platanistasa, Church of the Holy Cross of Agiasmati, 15th century - Murals
Palaichori, Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior (Agia Sotira), 16th century - Frescoes
Choirokoitia, Neolithic Settlement of Choirokoitia, 7th - 4th cent. B.C.
© 2017 - 2023 Republic of Cyprus,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Bucharest