Cyprus, officially known as the Republic of Cyprus is an island found on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea. It covers a total area of 3,572 square miles with a population of 1.1 million making it the third largest and the third most populous country in the Mediterranean. It is located at a strategic position bordering Turkey to the north, Syria and Lebanon to the east, Israel and Palestine to the southeast, Egypt to the south, and Greece to the northwest. The country has three cultural sites listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sites are discussed below.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Cyprus
Choirokoitia also spelled as khirokitia is an archeological site located 3.75 miles off the southern coast of Cyprus and on the slopes of the hilly valley of the Maroni River. The collective settlement at this site dates back to the new Stone Age period when the first human technology developed. It is an important site listed in 1998 as a cultural UNESCO world heritage site and was discovered in 1934. It is in an enclosed area that limits access by tourist. The site is only accessed through a guarded point at one end.
Paphos is a city along the southwestern coastal line. It is the capital of the Paphos district. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, and approximately 31 miles west of the biggest port on the island. It was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1980 as a cultural site. It is a large tourist attraction site with two impressive archaeological sites the town of Kato Paphos where the remains of the goddess of love’s sacred city are found, and the village of Kouklia consisting of the sacred sanctuary of the goddess of love. The city had been inhabited since the new Stone Age period and was the center for fertility deities and goddess of love.
The Painted Churches In The Troodos Region
These painted churches are located in central Cyprus and comprise of ten churches and monasteries which give a clear cut picture of the various artistic influences that the former Byzantine Empire used. The architectural designs used in building and decorating the churches are only confined to the Troodos region and are indigenous and unique. It was inscribed in 1985 as a cultural UNESCO world heritage site.
Preservation Efforts Of The UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Cyprus
Choirokoitia is considered government property and it is protected and managed by the provisions of national legislations which is intended to protect both the new stone age period as well as the natural landscape through the planting of trees and cleaning. Paphos, on the other hand, is managed by the curator of ancient monuments and the archaeological officer supervises the property regularly, but a management plan is underway for the conservation of the unique values the property has for future generations. The national legislations protect the painted churches in the Troodos region just like the Choirokoitia bit its protection status were enhanced in November 2011 by the committee for protection of cultural property.