This article is about Kyrenia – the resort town of Northern Cyprus-is located at the foot of the Kyrenia mountains. This place is so popular among tourists that can rightly be called the tourist capital of the partially recognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Excellent beaches with clean sand, warm waters of cozy bays, developed tourist infrastructure attract many tourists from different countries to Kyrenia. City hotels on any budget can meet the needs of the most fastidious tourists, and restaurants and cafes – any gourmets. For those who are not satisfied with a calm and lazy beach holiday, Kyrenia can offer interesting historical places both within the city and in its surroundings.
Like most Cypriot cities, Kyrenia is a very ancient settlement. As archaeologists have found out, the evidence of people living here dates back to the 6th Millennium BC. That is, even in the Neolithic period on the outskirts of the Kyrenia mountains, delineated by the Mediterranean coast, lived ancient people. In addition to these artifacts, scientists have discovered burials indicating the presence of Mycenaean and Achaean civilizations in these places in the 1-2 Millennium BC.
As for the first written mention of the city, those were made during the life of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses III. In ancient writings Kyrenia was described as one of the eight kingdoms of which Cyprus was then. Already in those days, the city was the most important seaport and commercial center, linking the island with the Greek city-States and countries of Asia Minor. Kyrenia ship discovered in the seabed in 1965 near the coast, is clearly confirmed.
IV century BC all of Cyprus, including Kyrenia, came under the rule of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty. This has led to the fact that the city has not fallen into decay, and retained the importance of the state. Kyrenia for many centuries remained the center of trade and seaport, which ensured stable growth and development of the city. Its heyday continued under the rule of Rome. At this time, the first Christians appeared in Kyrenia, who were persecuted in the first centuries of the new era; evidence of this is kept by the catacombs of Chrysocava. At the same time the city was surrounded by a powerful fortress wall and became a military center, designed to protect the Harbor and the surrounding area from the invasion of invaders.
Continue of fascinating history
In the IV century of the new era, Cyprus became an integral part of the Byzantine Empire, and the development and flourishing of Kyrenia as a political, military and commercial center continued. Its fortress walls protected the bishopric, city authorities and local residents. In the X century, the castle converted, completed and expanded, it later became the residence of Isaac Comnenus, ruler of Cyprus. But after a short time Comnenus was overthrown by the crusaders, and the city then became the property of the Lusignan dynasty. During their reign, new city walls were built, fortifications were built, stone castles were built near Kyrenia. In the following centuries the city belonged to the Venetians, then to the Turks, it was constantly updated and rebuilt, new towers and casemates were built, more modern fortifications were built.
When Kyrenia, like the whole island, came to belong to great Britain (1878), the construction of institutions for the people began in the city. There were hospitals, schools, convenient and wide roads. At the same time, there was a course on the tourist development of the city: beautiful beaches were cleaned and equipped. The first hotels built, the first vacationers appeared. Cyprus became independent in 1960. Then the tourist orientation of Kyrenia remained and began to prevail over other ways of development of the city and the area. Construction of hotels, restaurants, cafes, casinos, improvement of beaches and other components of the tourist infrastructure continued.
In 1974, Kyrenia became the first city in Cyprus to be invaded by Turkey. The vast majority of its inhabitants (85%), by nationality – Greek Cypriots, expelled from their native lands. They moved in the southern region of the island. Currently, the city is home to about 60-70 thousand inhabitants, Turkish Cypriots by nationality.
Holidays in Kyrenia
Пляжный season starts in April and lasts to November. In these months, hotels Kyrenia take travelers from around the world, come here for excellent service, a kind of cuisine, the sun and a wonderful tan. Even in the winter months, when the air temperature keeps within 15-20 degrees, and the sun does not burn, but gently warms, many hotels do not close and still receive guests. At this time, fans of a more relaxing holiday and adherents of excursion tourism come here, as it is much more comfortable to see the sights of Kyrenia in conditions of optimal temperature.
Hotels in the city are not only young people seeking to spend their holidays actively, fun and without sleep. By the way, the island literally stuffes with casinos and gambling machines. But here you can relax and families with children and elderly couples. These categories of tourists are better to come in the” velvet ” season. It is from September to November. Bacause of avoiding the influence of the scorching sun.
What in Kyrenia you can see
In between trips to the beach, supermarkets or boutiques will be very informative to see the sights of Kyrenia. It is not necessary to go far for one of them – it is a fortress of the city. For many centuries, since the first centuries of the new era, the fortress walls rebuilt more than once. And their modern look exists thanks to the Venetians and the Lusignan dynasty, who in the Middle ages engaged in strengthening cities throughout Cyprus. Since 1950 the fortress of Kyrenia functions as a Museum. It created an exhibition of weapons, military clothing and shoes, household items and tools. In the watchtower there is still a sarcophagus Sadik Pasha, to whom the town surrendered in 1570.
There are two more museums in the fortress, the expositions of which are very peculiar. It’s the torture Museum and the shipwreck Museum. The first of them is a set of all devices for torment of people. They thought up in the Middle ages. The second contains a sailing ship. It miraculously survived under water from the III century BC, when he shipwrecked near Kyrenia. It raised from the bottom in 1969, along with amphorae and other interesting objects. You can also see them can also see them in the fortress Museum.
About Kyrenia and its sightseeings
Abby Bellapais, located in the mountains near Kyrenia, is a remarkable example of medieval construction. His fate is very ambiguous. And nowadays tourists can see the Gothic Church, the gate with the remains of walls, underground premises. In summer, the Abbey hosts a classical music festival.
The castle of St. Hilarion in the vicinity of Kyrenia deserves special attention. In the VII century archaeologists founded it. Surely restorers repeatedly rebuilt by the Venetians and Lusignans, it has reached our days in very good condition. Tourists admire the three levels of the fortress walls. As well as the site for jousting tournaments, the Byzantine temple of the X century. Similarly the Royal chambers, towers and casemates.
Any attraction in this this city as well as more details about Kyrenia not leave anyone indifferent. After all, this is the history of the city, the whole of Cyprus and its people.