The Flood Festival (Kataklysmos) was a permanent yearly
celebration with both a religious as well as a trading character.
The Athletic Organisation of “Anorthosis” which was
founded in 1911 and was very active in social and national issues organized
various events and celebrations. It coordinated a mandolin orchestra, organized
evening classes, seminars, lectures, while at the same time contributed
substantially to athletic life.
Around 1919 we see the development of the first amateur
Many events were presented by the Philanthropic
Association as well as the “Greek Club”
In 1930 we see the founding of the fist Women’s
association in Cyprus which was housed in its own magnificent building, a
generous donation by its founder, Maria P. Ioannou. Women’s Lyceum presented
many theatrical plays, often in ancient Salamis, created the first women’s
mandolin orchestra, provided Sunday classes to illiterate women, organized
evenings with music and poetry, concerts and Literature Gatherings and even
created a Children’s Theatrical Stage. Even though the early 20the century was
a difficult time for the development of women’s organizations and the
Women’s Lyceum had to face incredible economic difficulties as well as social
prejudice, this organization contributed greatly to the cultural advancement of
The Orange Festival was organized once a year,
honouring the most important produce of the city. Public places were decorated
with thousands of oranges in a variety of presentations, while four wheeled
chariots again decorated with oranges paraded through the city. The City
Philharmonic was always there, as in other events and celebrations.
The Flower Festival (Anthesteria) was also a tradition
celebrating flowers at the beginning of Spring.
The Folkloric Feast was another established yearly
The Educational Institutions also contributed to the
advancement of cultural life in Ammochostos through their activities. In
particular the A´ High School of Ammochostos had a very rich
cultural activity with all the ancient tragedies presented like Ifigeneia,
Oedipus Tyrant, Medea, in the ancient theatre of Salamis.
In 1974, the Municipal Library had 17,000 books
including some very rear 16the century books about Cyprus as well as old maps
The Municipal Gallery operated since 1959. In 1974, the
Gallery had in its possession 150 paintings, mainly by Cypriot Artists and a few
by famous Greek Artists like Spyros Basiliou, Fotis Kontoglou, Hatjikyriakos –
Gikas, Yiannis Tsarouchis, and others. There were also 35 aquarelles presenting
Medieval Ammochostos, and 380 sketches and paintings by Michalis Hatjidemetriou.
medieval, within the walls, city of Ammochostos is a monument in itself.
Unfortunately, since 1963/4 the medieval city was closed and inaccessible to the
Greek Cypriots of the island, and for this reason it is nigh impossible to know
today in what condition its
many interesting and once magnificent constructions are.
The Fortification Walls and particularly the Othello Tower, the Martinego
bulwark, the Ravelin bastion as well as the Gate to the Sea and the Gate to the
Mainland are splendid monuments of military architecture and particularly
interesting both on the inside and from outside.
the walled city, the most imposing construction is St. Nicholas Cathedral, a
construction of the 14th century. Many brilliant coronation
ceremonies of Cypriot kings and kings of Jerusalem were enacted in this
Cathedral during the Frankish period. St. Nicholas Cathedral was turned to a
mosque during Ottoman occupation.
Many churches like that of St. George of the Greeks, St. George of the
Latins, St George Xorinos (also known as St. George of the Nestorians), the
Carmelite church, the church of St. Francis, as well as that of St. Peter and
Paul are of a particular interest. St. Symeon church is also very interesting as
it is the oldest construction of the city, dating back to the 13th
century. Its building was at a later stage attached to the more extensive church
of St. George of the Greeks. The main Byzantine churches of the 14th
century are those of Ayia Zone, and the Archangel, as well as the church of the
Armenians. According to tradition,
during the Frankish period, there were 365 churches in Ammochostos.
Another interesting monument in the medieval city is the Palazzo del
Proveditore at the cathedral plaza, as well as many private buildings and
the modern part of the city, the part outside the walls, we could find:
The Chrysospeliotissa church in Kato Varoshia which was
carved on a rock, dating back to the 14th century – a place of
worship for both Orthodox and Latin people until the end of the Ottoman empire.
The underground church of St. Cathernine.
The churches of St. Nicholas and Ayia Zone which were
erected during the Ottoman period.
Other churches like that of Stavros (The Holy Cross),
St. Paraskeve, St. Loucas, Ayios Memnon, and St. John of Skouranthas. It’s
worth mentioning that the majority of the churches in the new part of the city
bear the same name as those in the medieval city.
The district museum in (28th October st.,).
The Municipal Library and Gallery (16, June st.,).
The Central Park in front of the A´
Gymansium (High School), with lakes and fountains together with a stage for the
city Philharmonic orchestra.
Private houses of unique interest architecturally, e.g.
The private archaeological collection of Christakis
The private library of Marangos
St. Varnabas monastery . St. Varnavas is the founder of
the Cypriot Church. He was born in Ancient Salamis and the Church of Cyprus
celbrates his name day on the 11th of June. The monastery itself is
built very near Ancient Salamis, a few kilometers outside Ammochostos. The white
bearded monks, three brothers, Chariton, Varnavas and Stefanos, dedicated their
lives to the Saint and for years they received and offered hospitality to every
pilgrim. The initial temple was built by Anthemios, a Bishop of Constantia who
was visited in his dream by the Saint, and was shown the exact spot where the
Saint was buried. There he built a basilica around 345 A.D.
The archaeological site of Salamis with the most
prominent monuments of the gymnasium, the theatre, the St. Epiphane basilica,
the market, Zeus’ Temple and the necropolis with the royal tombs.
The archaeological site of Engomi
the Ammochostos district, we can find the following archaeological monuments and
The Neolithic settlement at Kastros, near Apostolos
Andreas cape, and the middle bronze era settlement in Kalopsida.
The castle dating back to the middle bronze era, at
Nitovikla in the Carpass peninsula.
The settlement of Melissa at Flamoudi.
The Mycenaean necropolis at Angastina in the Mesaoria
The necropolis at Alsas, in Gastria village.
The necropolis in Platani, at Rizocarpaso, in Ayios
Theodoros and Koma toy Yialou.
The Hellenistic period necropolis in Vokolida, in
Trikomo and Akanthou
The basilica of Ayia Trias in the Carpass peninsula.
The Byzantine churche of Panayia Kanakaria in
The private houses of Evangelos Louizou and
Hatjikonstantis Kepertis in Famagusta
upon the invasion and occupation of Cyprus by Turkish army forces, Turkey
ignored all regulations and responsibilities as outlined in the 1954 Hague
Agreement. Neither have international conventions such as UNESCO’s 1970
convention “on the means for prohibiting and preventing the illegal
importation and transport of ownership of cultural property”, nor UNESCO’s
1980 resolution on Cyprus were able to detain Turkey from destroying our rich
cultural heritage. With a view to
changing the cultural identity of the island and remove all traces of Cypriot
history, Turkey herself proceeded
or allowed foreign visitors to proceed to looting, trading and destruction of
the rich cultural heritage of the Cypriot people.
constitute the most obvious and recognizable symbols of the cultural identity of
Cyprus and have therefore been subjected to the most violent and systematic
Monastery of Apostolos Varnavas (Saint Varnavas) has been stripped of its icons
(around 150 icons). This monastery was built during the 5th century.
The Byzantine church of Apostolos Varnavas dates back to the 12th
century and was founded on the ruins of a basilica dating back to the first
Christian years. This church is considered the holliest Christian site in
Cyprus. Apart from the icons, the church has been stripped of all holy service
sets of mosaics have been stolen from the church of Kanakaria in occupied
Lynthrangomi, which ended up in the hands of an American art dealer. Aftwer a US
court ruling these were returned to their legal owner, the Church of Cyprus.
monastery of Theotokos in Kythrea had the same fate. The church of Ayios
Andronikos in occupied Kythrea, has been looted and consequently destroyed by
Turks. The Byzantine church of Panayia
in Trikomo village, the church of Ayios Themonianos near Lysi, the church at
Prasteio, the church of Panayia Eleousa at Rizokarpaso (a 15th
century church with gothic features), have
been looted and their icons are
missing. The Turks have turned the
church at Prasteio into cinema, while that at Komi Kepir into public lavatories.
The basilica at Ayia Triada in the Karpass peninsula with a mosaic floor dating
back to the 5th and 6th century, is being used as a goat
and sheep sty.
following churches in the District of Ammochostos have been turned to mosques:
The church of Ayios Nikolaos at Limnia
The church of Ayios Loukas in the city of Ammochostos
The church of Ayia Paraskevi in Lapethos,
The church of Archangel Michael in Yialousa
The church of Engomi
The two churches in Kythrea
The church of Archangel Michael in Koma toy Yialou
The church in Tavrou
The church in Vathylakas
The church of Ayios Andronicos in the village of Ayios
The church of Archangel Michael in Lefkoniko
The church of Ayios Dimitrios in Leonarisso