The 7 Most Fascinating Museums You Can Find in Cyprus
Aphrodite's Rock | © Good Free Photos
Welcome to Cyprus, a magical place with so much history that has been influenced by various Eastern Mediterranean civilizations over the millennia. In the many wonderful museums on offer here, visitors can witness the past being brought to life.
The Shipwreck Museum
Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, The Shipwreck Museum in Kyernia Castle houses one of the oldest trading vessels and her cargo. In 1969, American archaeologists raised this Greek merchant ship, which is more than 2,300 years old. When discovered, most of the ship had been well-preserved in the sand, and approximately 75% was in good condition. The museum serves as a peephole into the lives of the traders and offers a look at the objects they carried on the ship during her last voyage.
Cyprus Historic & Classic Motor Museum
The Cyprus Historic & Classic Motor Museum is a must-visit destination. The oldest car in the collection is a Ford Model T roadster from 1912, and the newest car was made in 2004. Visitors may also view the armored presidential Cadillac, which was donated by the U.S. government and built specifically for Cyprus President Makarios III in 1977. Dimi Mavropoulos, a veteran Rally Racing champion of International and Cypriot rally competitions, opened the museum in February 2014 to display his personal collection of 90 classic cars. What’s more, happy couples can rent a car from the museum for their wedding day, complete with a driver.
Mevlevi Tekke Museum
Building, History Museum
The small Mevlevi Tekke Museum (which translates to the Museum of Whirling Dervishes) is nestled within the walls of the city and is close to the famous Kyrenia Gate. The building dates back to the 17th century Ottoman period and was in use until 1954. A Muslim religious sect used the building to hold regular functions, including ceremonial dances, under the guidance of a sheikh. The dancers’ costumes, musical instruments, and other ethnographic materials are on exhibit here.
Oleastro Olive Park and Museum
Living Museum, Park
Learn about the production, extraction, and bottling process for organic olive oil at the Oleastro Olive Park and Museum. The park has both outdoor and indoor exhibits to enjoy; outside you can walk the olive trees on the grounds, let the kids play on the playground, and visit the artists’ corner. The building houses the state-of-the-art and ecological olive mill, as well as a restaurant, gift shop, and the actual museum. Oleastro is in the picturesque village of Anogyra, which has maintained its traditional character throughout the years. It is a perfect getaway for a truly local experience.
A.G. Leventis Gallery
Art Gallery, Art Museum, History Museum
The A.G. Leventis Gallery promotes educational, cultural, and artistic projects with particular emphasis on the cultural heritage of Cyprus. The fine arts museum was the vision of Anastasios G. Leventis who wanted his personal art collection to be enjoyed by and to serve as inspiration for his community and larger Cyprus. Today, the center brings together artists and art enthusiasts of all ages to immerse themselves in the culture and history of Cyprus and Greece, as well as celebrate diversity across the globe.
Archaeological site, History Museum
This museum and tomb was named for the commander who played a key role in the Siege of Famagusta in the 16th century, during which Canbulat employed a maneuver that allowed his troops to breech the defense and force Famagusta to surrender. However, the commander ultimately lost his life in the process. Canbulat’s remains are buried at the museum. The building was restored in 1968, and the front was transformed into a small museum that features ethnographic and archaeological exhibitions. Additionally, many Turks and Turkish Cypriots use the site as a place of pilgrimage.
Local Ethnological Museum, Lefkara
For a firsthand experience of those who lived in Lefkara Village during the 19th and early 20th century, visit the Local Ethnological Museum, Lefkara. Set in the House of Patsalos, which once belonged to one of the village’s most affluent families, the building was donated to the Department of Antiquities in 1983 and was then restored. In August 1998, the department officially opened the house to the public as a museum of embroidery and silversmith-work. Constructed out of local white limestone, the museum features furnishings from the period, as well as traditional costumes, jewelery, silverwork, and agricultural tools. Visitors will also find a vast collection of old Lefkara embroidery, for which the village is celebrated.
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