Writing and civilization are very closely linked for without this means of communication, ideas, facts, events, discoveries and emotions cannot be conveyed across time and advance the development of mankind.

Before the invention of paper by the Chinese in 105 BC writing was done on clay tablets, parchments and papyrus. Letter writing developed some 3000 years ago when the earliest known example of the Phoenician alphabet was discovered in Byblos, Lebanon. The Latin alphabet is said to derive from the twenty two consonants of that ancient script.

In the early years letters were exchanged between rulers and tradesmen since the majority of any population was illiterate. With literacy increasing, the art of letter writing, be it business, friendship, administrative or amorous, flourished.

The Persian King Darius the Great (521-486 BC) set up the first real postal service by opening inns every fifteen miles along the 1678 miles of the King’s road from Susa to Sardis. Over the centuries mail was carried at first by couriers on foot and in due course horses, camels, carriages, bicycles, ships, railways, cars and airplanes were used. As chariots were in use at the time of King Darius, one may wonder if they were used for the delivery of mail.

Prior to the invention of the envelope, letters were folded and often sealed with a wax wafer. An early letter from Cyprus is dated 17th June 1353 written during the reign of the Lusignan King Hugh IV when Cyprus was enjoying great prosperity. Regular services did not exist at the time.

Early letters from Cyprus to countries beyond its shores were sent by ship or hand carried by travellers until 26th September 1930 when the first airmail service was inaugurated between Ammochostos and Alexandria.


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Stavrovouni Monastery is perched on a rocky
peak 750m above sea level. Legend has it that it
was founded in the 4th century by Saint Helena,
mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, who
left a relic of the Holy Cross at the monastery.
The monks have strict rules like those at
Mount Athos in Greece. Women may not enter
the monastery. An impressive ceremony and
festival is held here on the14 September, the day
of the Raising of the Holy Cross. The monastery
of Agia Varvara on the foothills of Stavrovouni
is accessible to all visitors. The monks here are
known for their iconography skills.

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The Troodos National Forest Park covers an area of 9,147 hectares around Mount Olympus. The highest point is Chionistra(1,952m) and the lowest is Moni forest(700m). It is an area of great natural beauty, suitable for activities such as hiking, winter skiing, biking, nature study, camping and picnics.

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Souvla is a popular dish of Cyprus. It consists of large pieces of lamb meat cooked on a long skewer over a charcoal barbecue. Cypriots mostly eat souvla to celebrate occasions such as Christmas, Easter etc.

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The Troodos area offers a plethora of nature trails and mountain routes for walking, or mountain biking. Moreover, the area is ideal for angling in some fresh water dams and even for snow skiing, during peak winter months.

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It is believed that a temple dedicated to Aphrodite once existed in the Cape Gkreko area. Cape Gkreko National Park is an area of unique natural beauty, where one can admire magnificent cliff formations. Many of the 36 different orchid species growing on the island are found here, as well as crocuses and lillies.The local nature trail links the area with the Aphrodite Cultural Route.

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Kato Drys is the birthplace of Agios Neofytos, who was born in 1134. Of interest are the church of Agios Charalambos, built in 1897 and the 16th century church of Panagia, which has recently been restored. Many buildings exhibit rural architecture, with suspended balconies, as well as doors and windows carved in relief.
The Rural Museum (House of Gavriel and Eleni Papachristoforou) is housed in a restored building with remarkable woodwork, a prime example of local 19th century architecture.

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Εven picky divers need not worry about a lack of spectacle on Cyprus: long tunnels and canyons, mystical
caves, ancient amphora along the Roman harbours, majestic arches, steep rock faces descending deep down
to the ocean floor and a rich underwater flora and fauna,
unique for the Mediterranean due to the proximity of the
Red Sea.

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Εven picky divers need not worry about a lack of spectacle on Cyprus: long tunnels and canyons, mystical
caves, ancient amphora along the Roman harbours, majestic arches, steep rock faces descending deep down
to the ocean floor and a rich underwater flora and fauna,
unique for the Mediterranean due to the proximity of the
Red Sea.

Collection


Εven picky divers need not worry about a lack of spectacle on Cyprus: long tunnels and canyons, mystical
caves, ancient amphora along the Roman harbours, majestic arches, steep rock faces descending deep down
to the ocean floor and a rich underwater flora and fauna,
unique for the Mediterranean due to the proximity of the
Red Sea.

Collection