Interesting facts about Cyprus
you probably didn't know!
Here are six interesting facts we bet you didn’t know about our beautiful Cyprus:
1) In around 40 BC, Roman General Mark Antony gifted the island of Cyprus (under Roman rule) to Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Upon her first meeting with Antony, Cleopatra dressed like Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty to seduce the Roman General. Cleopatra was carried on a chariot whilst her workers burned incense to make her chariot smell alluring. The pair met with intentions to strengthen political ties, but fell truly, madly in love with one another. Cyprus was gifted twice to Cleopatra first by Julius Ceaser and then by Mark Antony until the fall of the Egyptian empire, where Cyprus once again belonged to Rome.
2) Lefkara, is a village in southern Cyprus renowned for hand-made lace known as “” This dainty lace became most popular in the 19th century during a trade boom. World-famous Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci visited Lefkara in 1481, to purchase hand-made lace from Lefkara. The famous Italian painter used this gorgeous lace, to decorate the main alter of the ‘Duomo di Milano’ (the Milan Cathedral) in northern Italy.
3) Did you know that Cyprus is the only foreign venue where an English Royal Wedding was hosted? On May 12, 1191, King Richard I married Berengaria of Navarre. The couple were married in the Chapel of St. George in Limassol and after, Berengaria was then crowned the Queen of England.
4) In 2007 the world’s oldest perfume was discovered in Cyprus! A team of Italian archaeologists unearthed these treasures in Pyrgos. These artefacts were excavated under rubble because of an earthquake that occurred in 1850 BC. Findings reveal the perfumes were scented with extracts of lavender, rosemary, bay, pine and coriander and were kept in tiny translucent bottles. Next to the perfumes, the archaeologists found mixing bowls and funnels. These treasures date back more than 4000 years.
5) Commandaria is a sweet dessert wine that originates from Cyprus. Commandaria is the world’s oldest wine label and dates back more than 5000 years. This wine is made in the Commandaria region of Cyprus, on the foothills of the Troodos mountains. The wine is produced from over-ripened grapes. The grapes are then laid out in the sun to dry further and increase its sugar density. The juice is extracted and then aged for at least 4 years in wine barrels before the Commandaria is ready.
6) Did you know that the national flower of Cyprus is the “Cyclamen Cyprium” (more commonly known as the Cyprus Cyclamen)? The Cyprus Cyclamen was made the national flower in 2006. This flower enjoys growing in mountainous regions and flowers from November to March. One of the best places to see the Cyprus Cyclamen is the rocky foothills above the Baths of Aphrodite. Blankets of these flowers flow down from the top, opening a great view of the sea. Its leaves are heart shaped with rigged edges while its petals are light pink with magenta streaks on the outer edges.