About Cyprus

Name: Republic of Cyprus 
Capital: Nicosia
Religion: Christian Orthodox
Population: 838,897
Language: Greek
Currency: Euro
GDP per Capita: 20,551.00
Member of European Union: Since 2004
Standard of living: High

Cyprus, according to Mythology, is the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. The island is both an ancient land, with an eleven thousand year-old history and civilization as well as a young independent republic since 1960. Wherever you travel you will find ancient monuments and sites, churches and monasteries bearing silent witness to over 9000 years of civilization and history. Its geographic location at the crossroads of three continents- Europe, Asia and Africa - and at the meeting point of great civilizations has been one of the factors influencing the course of the island's history throughout the centuries.
Cyprus History dates as far back as 7000 BC, the Neolithic Age, with settlements along the north and south coasts of the island. After 1400 BC the first Greeks came to the island, Mycenaean merchants, starting the Hellenisation of the island.
By 1050 BC Cyprus can be considered a Greek island, with the language, culture and religion of Greece well established. Cyprus has ten city-kingdoms and by 800 BC it is a flourishing and prosperous country. From 750 BC Cyprus is conquered several times by Assyria, Egypt and Persia. In 333 BC Alexander the Great claims Cyprus for part of his empire. Cyprus continues to be part of the Hellenist Empire until 58 BC.

In 58 BC Cyprus becomes part of the Roman Empire. Saint Paul is converted to Christianity whilst in Cyprus, and Cyprus becomes the first country governed by a Christian.
After the division of the Roman Empire Cyprus becomes part of Byzantium, with Constantinople as its capital. In 1191 AD Cyprus is defeated by the crusader Richard the Lionheart. The island is then sold to the Knights Templar, who sold it to Guy de Lusignan. From 1192 to 1489 Cyprus is ruled under a feudal system and Catholicism becomes the official religion.
In1489 control of the island passes to the Venetians who take steps to fortify the island and build walls around the towns of Nicosia and Famagusta.  
In 1571 Ottoman troops invade the island and Cyprus becomes part of the Ottoman Empire. Islam is introduced to the island and Catholicism is expelled. The Greek Orthodox religion is restored.
In 1878, under the Cyprus Convention, Britain assumes administration of the island although it remains part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1914 however, when the Ottomans entered the 1st World War on the side of the Germans, Britain annexed the island. In 1923 Turkey relinquishes all rights to Cyprus and in 1925 Cyprus is declared a Crown colony.
An armed struggle breaks out in 1955 against colonial rule, which lasts until 1960 when the island is granted independence.
In 1963 Turkish-Cypriot ministers withdraw from the Government in protest at proposed changes to the Constitution and Turkey threatens to invade.
In 1974 the Greek junta instigates a coup in Cyprus against the Cypriot Government and Turkey uses that as an excuse and illegally invades the island.

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, due to the sunny weather and the beautiful Mediterranean Sea which embraces the whole island. Millions of tourists from all over the word visit Cyprus every year, not only for the wonderful sunny climate and endless beaches, but also for the extraordinarily diverse history, ancient civilization and culture of the island. 

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