192-Part Guide To The World: Cyprus
Sunday 23 April 2000
Official name: Republic of Cyprus.
Official name: Republic of Cyprus.
Language: Greek is spoken by most people, while a quarter of the population speaks Turkish.
Population: 860,000 (including Turkish-occupied territory).
Size: 3,600 square miles (including Turkish-occupied territory), about a third of the size of Belgium.
National dish: Local specialities abound and are very diverse - from mountain goat's cheese to characterful Cypriot wines. Meze is a tapas-like meal of up to 25 dishes, including dips, grilled cheeses and meats. Kleftiko, lamb cooked in its own juices with lots of herbs, in a clay pot, is also a well-known local dish.
Best monument: The nine beautifully painted Byzantine churches in the mountainous Troodos region have been declared a Unesco World Heritage site. The Asinou church, covered with 12th-century murals, is typical of this style.
Most famous citizen: Makarios, the Cypriot leader and president of the island from 1959 to 1977. He led the struggle for enosis (union) with Greece and also served as the archbishop of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus.
Best moment in history: Throughout history, Cyprus has enjoyed periods of great prosperity. During the Frankish era (1192-1489), Famagusta, on the south-east coast, became one of the richest cities in the world.
Worst moment in history: 1974 was marked by conflict, which led to an almost complete collapse of the economy. Encouraged by the ruling elite in Athens, the Greek Cypriot National Guard attempted a coup to establish union with Greece, which was followed by an invasion of troops from the Turkish mainland, leading to the Turkish occupation of the northern third of the island.
Essential accessory: To avoid embarrassment, always take a gift of wine or confectionery if you are invited to a meal by locals.
What not to do: Cypriots are incredibly hospitable. It is viewed as impolite to decline the offer of a cup of local coffee, which is strong and unfiltered.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
French air-traffic controllers strike Q&A: When is the strike and which travellers will be affected?
A380 celebrates first decade in flight - but how long will the Superjumbo's time in the sky last?
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
12 best hotels in London
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£18750 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Hotel in Chadderton is a popular ch...
£35 - 45k: Guru Careers: An MI Developer is needed to join the leading provide...
£20000 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leisure organisation manag...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Delivering an inspiring, engagi...