From the Assyrians to the Egyptians, the Persians to the Romans, Cyprus has seen hordes of visitors disembark on her shores over the centuries – each leaving their distinctive mark on the varied landscape.
It was in the early to Middle Bronze Ages that saw the emergence of towns and trading centres, which helped build relationships with the surrounding nations. This period was followed by occupation by many Middle Eastern countries, but it was when Persian rule was overthrown by King Evagoras that the Salamis region was able to strengthen its commerce and grow wealthy. This growth trend continued through Hellenistic and Roman rule, however, when the Roman Empire’s grip began to loosen and trade began to dwindle, fortunes were only reversed when the Byzantine Empire took control of the island and restored the province to its former glory.
The next 500 years or so saw the island change hands through Richard the Lionheart, the French Lusignan family, the Ottomans and the Venetians. In the mid-19th century the Suez Canal was opened, so to protect the trade route to India, Britain took a vested interest in the strategically located island, which saw many new roads, pipelines, crop irrigation and railways being built. This alliance continued well into the 20th century with Cyprus’s independence being declared in 1960. This series of events lead to North Cyprus declaring its independence from the south in 1974.