Sigá, sigá

Beachfront, Λεμεσός

Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and currently the most eastern part of the European Union. In fact, it is incredibly close to states like Syria or Lebanon. It is known as the island of Aphrodite (or Venus) and it has an interesting history. The whole island is part of the EU, but it is a divided island with an occupied Turkish northern part. Cyprus is a good place for a summer holiday, and it seems to be to the Russians what Mallorca means to the Germans. And it is a place for relaxation which can already be seen in the local philosophy of life: sigá, sigá; always slowly, always relaxed.

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Selimiye Camii

Selimiye mosque, Λευκωσία

When you look at ancient maps and images of Λευκωσία, you can see a large church in the center of the city boundaries marked by the Venetian walls protecting the city: the Cathedral of Saint Sophia. It was built from the year 1209 on and the Knights Templar supported the creation during the crusades. The kings of Cyprus were crowned there during the existence of their kingdom (1192 to 1489 CE).

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Liberty monument, Λευκωσία

One of the biggest monuments of Λευκωσία is the Liberty Monument erected in 1973. It honors the EOKA fighting against British colonialism and occupation of Cyprus. EOKA stands for Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston, the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters. It was a military organisation fighting for Cypriot independence and for long time it was seen as a right-wing, nationalist organization. Today their work for independence is accepted and it has its fair part in Cypriot history.

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Green line

Λευκωσία is the last divided capital in Europe. When you’re walking through the city, you’ll find barriers made from oil barrels, roadblocks, barb wire and (bored) guards along a no-man’s-land leading from the east to the west of the city. This area is protected by UN forces and even as you’re not allowed to do photographs you can get close to the border pretty easy. It is bizarre to see the empty and deteriorating buildings in the heart of the city.

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Centrum hotel, Λευκωσία

Λευκωσία offers a lot of hotels, for sure. But if you want to stay inside the ancient city walls of the capital city there is only a small selection in the southwest. The Centrum hotel is a viable choice as it is close to the Ledras street leading through the city and to the occupied north and it is surrounded by numerous restaurants and bars.

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