10 Things You Didn’t Know About Cyprus
Recent news around Cyprus has been dominated by the financial sector, but there is more to this beautiful Mediterranean island than meets the eye. Here are 10 things about sunny Cyprus that you might not be aware of…
Until 2008, the Cypriot flag was the only flag in the world that features a map of the country on it. The Cypriot flag was chosen by the President and Vice President from a flag design competition in 1960 after Cyprus gained independence from the United Kingdom. Since 2008, Kosovo has also featured a country map on its flag.
According to ancient myths, one of the most famous Greek Gods – Aphrodite, who is the Goddess of Love and Beauty was born in Cyprus.
A sweet, red wine named Commandaria is produced in Cyprus and believed to be the oldest wine in the world.
The Green Line
Nicosia is the last divided capital city in the world. The city is divided in two by guard towers and barbed wire referred to as "The Green Line". The southern part of the city is the capital of the Republic of Cyprus and the northern part is the capital of Northern Cyprus.
Copper mining has been in production in Cyrus for many thousands of years and it is believed that the name Cyprus is likely to be derived from the Greek word for copper ‘Kypros’.
Cyprus has the oldest evidence of people keeping cats for pets when in 2004 a 9500 year old burial site revealed the remains of a human being buried with a cat!
The slow roasted lamb dish, Kleftiko which is a speciality in Cyprus is thought to have got its name from the Greek word kleftis which translation means robber.
The old legend is that poor people used to steal the meat before running away with it and cooking it in their underground ovens high up in the mountains. The ovens were well sealed so that nobody could smell the wonderful scents of the meat as it was cooking.
Cyprus claims to hold the origins of perfume! Traces of perfume from some 4000 years ago have been found by archaeologists in Cyprus. The findings indicate that the perfumes were produced on an industrial scale in a huge underground cave. It is thought that these early perfumes were fragranced with lavender, bay, rosemary and coriander.
Cyprus won its first ever Olympic medal at London 2012! The award came in the men’s laser sailing competition, where Cyprus won the silver medal courtesy of Pavlos Kontides who finished second behind the Australian Tom Slingsby.
The Cyprus Mufflon
The Cyprus Mufflon is a wild sheep that is found in the mountain ranges of Cyprus. It exists nowhere else in the world!