24 Sep The historical island of Cyprus
The island Cyprus has a very long and eventful history. Already from the Neolithic Age there are findings on the island which indicate a first settlement. The most known village of the Neolithic Age is Khirokitia near Kalavassos; further finding places are in Ais Yiorkis, Kastros, Lapta, Petra tou Limniti, Shillourokambos and Tenta.
Since the Bronze Age, Cyprus was supplying the eastern Mediterranean Sea with copper. In the outgoing Bronze Age there were established trading cities on Cyprus such as Enkomi which were in close contact with Levante. In the younger history, the island was standing alternating under Assyric, Egyptian and Persian influence. Later the island was under Roman control.
The crusaders and the lusignans dominated the island up to 1489, and then the island was lead by the republic Venice until 1571, then to the Ottoman Empire. Then, for a short times, Turks joined it and finally the Brits which conquered the island up to the year 1960 as crown colony. In all these epochs with the many different cultures and emperors, of an incredible wealth of cultural legacies and heirlooms was accumulated.
Among tourists, the island was already very popular in the early fifties, and on the whole island there were luxury resorts and hotels in which stars such as Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were staying in the famous Ladra Palace Hotel. This came to a sudden end, as the conflict between Greece and Turkey broke out and Turkey settled the North of the island. A majority of the former economy and the tourism sectors were settle in the north and lost quickly relevance.
After the war and the division of Cyprus in 1974, the holiday centre Varosha Niemandsland and the restricted zone remained occupied by the Turkish army and the soldiers of the United Nations. And nowadays you can see the bare hotel complexes as relicts of the early days of the European mass tourism, an involuntary created open-air museum which, however, is a stigma for many people. It’s a sad sign for a needless political conflict.
Nowadays the not yet solved border conflict is not affecting travellers and tourists that much. You can travel on the island freely. At the buffer zone you pass uncomplicated a border crossing and can therefore move between the island sections. Also scenically, the south and the north are virtually complementing each other. The Tróodos mountain in the southwest is attracting mainly hikers which enjoy the fresh mountain air and the trails between the villages from spring to autumn.
And more northeast on the peninsula Karpaz we find the most beautiful beaches of the island with gigantic dunes and clean seawater which, however, only a few people know. Here you can relax on a rustical beach bar apart from the tourist flux. Actually it is very friendly here.