History, Culture and Lifestyle
Cyprus has a long history and a rich culture. Situated at the crossroads of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa – the island’s unique geographic position has played an important part in its history.
Human habitation of Cyprus dates back to the Paleolithic era. The first undisputed settlement occurred in the 9th (or perhaps 10th) millennium BC. Over the millennia Cyprus was conquered by a succession of civilisations, including the Mycenaean Greeks, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Romans, Franks, Venetians, Ottomans and British, who all left their cultural influences.
It is worth noting that Christianity was introduced into Cyprus about 45 AD. In the 4th century AD Cyprus became part of the Eastern Roman Empire which later became the Byzantine Empire.
The island was under British administration from 1878 to 1960 when it became an independent republic. Part of the territory of Cyprus has been occupied since 1974 by Turkey.
Since May 2004 Cyprus has been a full member of the EU and joined the Euro Zone on 1 January 2008.
Greek and Turkish are the official languages of Cyprus, although English is widely spoken and used in all sectors. A large number of Cypriots have studied abroad and are fluent in other languages too.
Consequently, Cyprus has developed its own unique character and its rich cultural landscape is reflected in the archaeological sites, museums and monuments located throughout the island.
The island is well known for the high quality of life it offers, its rich culture, the hospitality of its people, its sunny weather, its clean and beautiful beaches and an abundance of outdoor activities. At the same time, it offers an ideal place to raise a family with good education and healthcare systems and one of the lowest crime rates within the EU.
There are many interesting archaeological sites, museums and monuments located throughout the island. Local and international festivals, music concerts and other cultural events take place throughout the year.