Traveling to Larnaca in Cyprus

Traveling to Larnaca in Cyprus

Larnaca is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus and the capital of the eponymous district. It is the third-largest city in the country, after Nicosia and Limassol, with an urban population of 84,591 (2011).

Larnaca is known for its palm-tree seafront, the Church of Saint Lazarus, the Hala Sultan Tekke, the Kamares Aqueduct and its medieval fort. It is built on the ruins of ancient Citium, which was the birthplace of Stoic philosopher Zeno.

Larnaca is home to the country’s primary airport, Larnaca International Airport. It also has a (both passenger and cargo) seaport and a marina.

Larnaca Culture

Arts

Larnaca has a theatre and an art gallery, which are operated by the municipality. The Cornaro Institute is a cultural centre in Old Town and which stages contemporary art exhibitions and other cultural events.

Music

Local institutions include the Municipal Wind Orchestra.

Traveling to Larnaca in Cyprus

Sports

Local teams include (football:) AEK Larnaca FC and ALKI Larnaca FC. Due to the Turkish occupation of Famagusta, the two teams of Famagusta, Anorthosis and Nea Salamina, are located here.

Local sports arenas include GSZ Stadium, “Antonis Papadopoulos”, and “Ammochostos”.

International competitions held in the city, include the Shooting Shotgun European Championships in 2012, the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH Youth World Championship in 2012, the European Under-19 Football Championship final in 1998 and the European Under-17 Football Championship final in 1992.

Larnaca attracts windsurfers from around the world especially in autumn. Mackenzie Beach hosts windsurfing centre together with an extreme sports centre.

Festivals

Much of the activity is centered around the city promenade during the major festivals. The most important of these is Kataklysmos or the Festival of the Flood, celebrated in early summer with a series of cultural events. The festival used to last for about a week, but, in recent years, with the increased commercialism of peripheral stalls, rides and temporary lokmades restaurants, the festival has been extended to about three weeks, during which the seafront is closed to traffic in the evenings. Lokmades (or loukoumades) is a sweet delicacy.

Museums

Museums found in Larnaca include the Larnaca District Archaeological Museum, Pierides Museum and Kyriazis Medical Museum.

Cuisine

The beaches of Larnaca are lined with nearly identical seafood restaurants catering to tourists. Although there are many continental and international restaurants in Larnaca, visitors do not miss out on indulging in the local food. Many of the staple dishes involve beans, such as fasolaki (French beans cooked in red wine with lamb), and louvi me lahana (black-eyed beans with chard). Some of the standard appetizers are potato salad, kohlrabi salad, and hot grilled black olives.

The next course may include Cyprus village sausage and sheftalia, dolmades and keftedes, kolokassi in tomato sauce, and several aubergine-based dishes. Baked or grilled lamb (souvla) usually appears somewhere in the course of dining, as does some kind of fish.

Limassol: A thriving resort town in Cyprus

Limassol: A thriving resort town in CyprusLimassol: A thriving resort town in Cyprus

Limassol is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus and capital of the eponymous district. Limassol is the second largest urban area in Cyprus, with an urban population of 160,000–176,700. The municipality is the most populous in the country with 101,000 inhabitants (2011).

The Port of Limassol is one of the busiest ports in the Mediterranean transit trade and the largest port in Cyprus. It has also become one of the most important tourism, trade, and service-providing centres in the area. Limassol is renowned for its extensive cultural traditions, and is home to the Cyprus University of Technology.

A wide spectrum of activities and a number of museums and archaeological sites are available to the interested visitor. Consequently, Limassol attracts a wide range of tourists mostly during an extended summer season to be accommodated in a wide range of hotels and apartments. A large marina lies near the old town, 500 metres (1,600 feet) from the Limassol medieval castle.

Limassol: A thriving resort town in Cyprus

Limassol was built between two ancient cities, Amathus and Kourion, and during Byzantine rule it was known as Neapolis (new town). Limassol’s historical centre is located around its medieval Limassol Castle and the Old Port. Today the city spreads along the Mediterranean coast and has extended much farther than the castle and port, with its suburbs stretching along the coast to Amathus. To the west of the city is the Akrotiri Area of the British Overseas Territory of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

Limassol ranked 87th worldwide in Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey (2015), between Durban and Tallinn.

Yerebatan Basilica Cistern in Istanbul

Yerebatan Basilica Cistern in Istanbul

The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), Turkey. The cistern, located 500 feet (150 m) southwest of the Hagia Sophia on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.

The name of this subterranean structure derives from a large public square on the First Hill of Constantinople, the Stoa Basilica, beneath which it was originally constructed. Before being converted to a cistern, a great Basilica stood in its place, built between the 3rd and 4th centuries during the Early Roman Age as a commercial, legal and artistic centre. The basilica was reconstructed by Illus after a fire in 476.

Ancient texts indicated that the basilica contained gardens, surrounded by a colonnade and facing the Hagia Sophia. According to ancient historians, Emperor Constantine built a structure that was later rebuilt and enlarged by Emperor Justinian after the Nika riots of 532, which devastated the city.

Historical texts claim that 7,000 slaves were involved in the construction of the cistern. The enlarged cistern provided a water filtration system for the Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings on the First Hill, and continued to provide water to the Topkapi Palace after the Ottoman conquest in 1453 and into modern times.

Yerebatan Basilica Cistern in Istanbul

Yerebatan Basilica Cisdern In Media

The cistern was used as a location for the 1963 James Bond film From Russia with Love. In the film, it is referred to as being constructed by the Emperor Constantine, with no reference to Justinian, and is located under the Soviet consulate. Its real-life location is a considerable distance from the former Soviet (now Russian) consulate, which is in Beyoğlu, the “newer” European section of Istanbul, on the other side of the Golden Horn.

In 1969 the cistern was used as a setting in Pawn in Frankincense, the fourth of the Lymond Chronicles books by Dorothy Dunnett.

The finale of the 2009 film The International takes place in a fantasy amalgam of the Old City, depicting the Basilica Cistern as lying beneath the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, which, in the film, is directly adjacent to the Süleymaniye Mosque.

The cistern is featured in Clive and Dirk Cussler’s 2010 Dirk Pitt fiction novel, Crescent Dawn and The Navigator.

In the 2011 video game, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, the player controlled character, Ezio Auditore, is given the chance to explore a section of this cistern in a memory sequence entitled The Yerebatan Cistern.

The cistern is also featured in Jean-Baptiste Andrea’s film thriller Brotherhood of Tears (2013). In the sequence, the lead character, acting as a transporter (played by Jeremie Renier), delivers a suitcase to a mysterious client (played by Turkish actor Ali Pinar).

The cistern with its inverted Medusa pillar was used prominently in the climax of the new Dan Brown novel Inferno featuring Robert Langdon, where the antagonist planned to make his attack.

In the young adult Marvel novel Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl, published in October 2015, the climactic scenes take place in the cistern and in a secret lab hidden behind it.

The Mosaics of St. Sophia Museum at Istanbul

The Mosaics of St. Sophia Museum at Istanbul

The Narthex

The Narthex of St. Sophia is divided into vine bays with quadripartite vaults. Each bay gives access to the interior of the Museum, which thus may be entered through the great central portal and through the four lesser openings to the North and four to the South of it.

Above the marble facing of the walls extends a frieze of opus sectile (height, 0·47 m.) which is separated from the mosaic lunettes and vaults by a vine moulding of stucco. The length of a unit of the mould is 0·87 m. The frieze had by the nineteenth century fallen into a state of such dilapidation that the Fossati covered it with a copy of its design in paint, but it is possible to regain certain lengths of it intact.

The Mosaics

THE mosaics throughout the Narthex largely owe their preservation to the skilful work of Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati, who between the years 1847 and 1849 were engaged at the command of the Sultan Abdulmecid in the task of renovating the Mosque and preserving the mosaics. Under their supervision the mosaics of the Narthex which cover the panels of the vaulted ceiling, the soffits of the arches, the lunettes over the doors leading into the Museum, the crenellated borders which trace the ribs, and the acanthus scrolls which frame the windows, were all re-established. Where disintegration was evident, plaster was introduced to fill the holes left by fallen tessellae and spread to grip those still in place, and sometimes even metal wing cramps and nails, regrettably of iron, were employed hastily, in order to effect local strengthening.

The golden ground of the mosaics of the ceiling and the geometric patterns and floriated designs which cover it and its component members were by this method consolidated and conserved without restoration. Missing parts of designs were frankly copied in paint and lee to view, but no restorations, in the sense of stripping off old mosaics and resetting them, or of introducing new ones, were attempted.

When these architects came to treat the mosaics in the lunettes and soffits A to I, in addition to the work of examination and reinforcement, they submitted the Byzantine representation in the central Lunette E, over the Royal Entrance, as well as the mosaic crosses in the eight other lunettes and in the soffits, to a covering of paint or of gold leaf, and by this means they partly concealed the work of the Byzantine artists.

The painters employed to draw the veil merely chose for the theme of their cumin Byzantine patterns from the mosaics of the vaulting of the Narthex close above their heads and copied them. The execution of this operation was of a very perfunctory character in stencil. No original design was introduced by them into the Narthex; and when during 1932 the surfaces were freed from the extraneous oil-painting, no Turkish work, and no ancient work, and no work of any merit whatever was destroyed. Sketches made by Major Cornelius Loos as late as 1710 show that the crosses were freely exposed at that time. It would thus seem that no screening of the Byzantine decoration in the Narthex had occurred up to the eighteenth century; nor are there traces of any earlier covering than that of the Fossati.

The mosaic work as fortified by the Fossati, both that in the areas beneath their painting and the large open tracts of gold background, was found generally to be well preserved. Investigation proved that the original composition of lime and powdered marble which was used to embed the Justinian mosaics varied throughout the Narthex. New batches of the mixture had been constantly made, and sometimes, perhaps, in careless haste. The blend used in Lunette D may have been faulty in its proportions; it yielded, at least, a weaker bed, which consequently showed some degeneration.

The gold ground was not covered as were the crosses. The paint covering the crosses varied in depth and strength. It was more solid and hence more difficult to remove in some lunettes than in the others. Nowhere, as in the Great Mosque at Damascus, was there a covering of plaster which could be cut off in strips. Neverthdess, in the work of removing from the mosaics the disfigurement of the paint it has not been found necessary to use solvents of any kind; the cleaning of the original mosaics has been accomplished by simple and innocuous mechanical means. The thin paint covering me mosaics is particularly amenable to flaking and was carefully removed tessella by tessella by means of a small steel chisel, such as has been used in delicately cleaning fossils and in scraping oil varnish and over painting from pictures. The liberation has been confined to the erasure of the paint; it was considered wiser not to disturb the plaster introduced by the Fossati into the interstices between the cubes, for it strengthens the decorations without defacing them seriously.

Still, surprisingly little of the original mosaic in the Narthex has been lost in the course of centuries.

The Frieze of Opus Sectile

The frieze of opus sectile constitutes a ribbon border formed of three longitudinal bands. These bands, of which the central one is wider than the upper and lower mutually similar ones, are edged by four plain, marble creases. The upper and lower creases are yellow and rosy in colour; the two creases framing middle band of the frieze are white.

The designs on the three bands of the frieze are of unequal force. The effect of the central band predominates over that of the upper and lower ancillary zones, each of which repeats a simple theme. This consists of a restrained, undulating figure produced by a series of loosely flowing M’s, presented alternately uptight and reversed.

The Seven Wonders of the Antique World and Middle Ages

The Seven Wonders of the Antque World and Middle Ages

The Seven Wonders of the World Of Antiquity:

(1) The Pyramids of Egypt.
(2) The Gardens of Semiramis at Babylon.
(3) The statue of Zeus at Olympia, the work of Phidias.
(4) The Temple of Diana at Ephesus.
(5) The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
(6) The Colossus at Rhodes.
(7) The Pharos of Egypt, the Walls of Babylon or the Palace of Cyrus.

The Seven Wonders of the World Of the Middle Ages:

(1) The Coliseum of Rome.
(2) The Catacombs of Alexandria.
(3) The Great Wall of China.
(4) Stonehenge.
(5) The Leaning Tower of Pisa.
(6) The Porcelain Tower of Nankin.
(7) The Mosque of St. Sophia at Constantinople.

The palace of the Escurial has sometimes been called the eighth wonder, a name which has also been given to a number of works of great mechanical ingenuity, such as the dome of Chosroes in Madain, St. Peter’s of Rome, the Menai suspension bridge, the Eddystone lighthouse, the Suez Canal, the railway over Mont Cenis, the Atlantic cable, etc.

Let’s Go Back to Ancient Rome

Let’s Go Back to Ancient Rome

Rome has so much to offer to the world, not only by the various pieces of art and its massive and intricate architecture. Its history also speaks a lot of how great Rome is even before.

Roman Art

The arts of ancient Rome can be compared to those of the Greek’s. They do have their similarities. This can be attributed to the fact that when the Romans decided to conquer the Greeks, the former noticed how art was infused into the lifestyle of the latter. Out of curiosity and love for Greek art, Roman soldiers decided to bring such culture right at their own land. They also brought artists-slaves with them. Thus, if you will take a good look Ara Pacis, you will notice the fancy swirls, which are so Greek. Romans are also fond of creating portraitures and busts of famous persons. However, unlike the Greeks who love to dwell on the ideals of their artwork, the Romans were more focused on their design and technical aspects.

Roman Religion

Ancient Rome also shares almost the same beliefs and rituals practiced by the Greeks. For one, they both believed in too many gods, who had dominance over different portions of their lives, including marriage, occupation, and nature. Moreover, in Ancient Rome, their gods have their own Greek equivalent. A good example is the Zeus of Greece and Jupiter of Rome. Emperors too were being regarded as gods, especially by those who were living in eastern side of the Roman Empire. Though paganism could be the first religion of Romans, let’s not forget that Roman Catholicism also found its birth in the Eternal City.

Roman Clothing

It could have just been one wool piece they used to wrap around themselves. However, when Ancient Rome saw the more advanced dressing habit of Greece, they opted to adopt linen tunics, and they became even more comfortable. Footwear of both men and women were made of leather. On special occasions, Roman men were required to wear togas; however, they have to take note of the different ways to wear them, depending on their stature. Women, on the other hand, have to wear not jut one tunic, in addition to the veil or wool scarf they have to wrap around their tunics. This gave them warmth whenever the weather gets cold or it’s raining.

Roman People

People in ancient Rome enjoyed more freedom and equality than other countries and empires at that time. Even women were protected by their laws, though people who are located at the west side of the empire became more liberal than those who lived in the east. The Roman Empire was also open even to travelers; thus, there was so much interaction and increase of knowledge in ancient Rome. Nevertheless, the rise of minority groups in the empire also paved the way for cultural wars and tensions.

The disparity of men and women can be felt when it comes to education. Girls were left at home, while boys were sent to school. Those who are living in the villages, meanwhile, were illiterate, simply because they couldn’t afford to get an education. The privileged ones, children who grew up in well-off families, had the opportunity to study in other cities, such as in Athens and Alexandria.

Walking around Rome is more than being inspired by its culture and history. It means reliving it, even if it’s going to be just for a day.

Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic

The Charles Bridge is a famous historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century.

The bridge replaced the old Judith Bridge built 1158–1172 that had been badly damaged by a flood in 1342. This new bridge was originally called the Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) or the Prague Bridge (Pražský most) but has been the “Charles Bridge” since 1870. As the only means of crossing the river Vltava (Moldau) until 1841, the Charles Bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town and adjacent areas. This “solid-land” connection made Prague important as a trade route between Eastern and Western Europe.

The bridge is 621 metres (2,037 ft) long and nearly 10 metres (33 ft) wide, resting on 16 arches shielded by ice guards. It is protected by three bridge towers, two of them on the Lesser Quarter side and the third one on the Old Town side. The Old Town bridge tower is often[vague] considered to be one of the most astonishing civil gothic-style buildings in the world[according to whom?]. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, originally erected around 1700 but now all replaced by replicas.

An Evening View of the Skyline of Old Prague

An Evening View of the Skyline of Old Prague

Czech Republic is not a country for people on slimming diets. The Czechs are hearty eaters and enjoy dumplings with nearly everything – in soups, stews, and again as a dessert. The national dish is roast pork (veprova), or goose (husa) with sauerkraut and dumplings (knedliky). Vegetables are scarce but meat (maso) is usually served with a salad.

For a meal with a view go to Praha Expo (Letenske sady). Other restaurants are the Ozivle Drevo (Living Wood) in the Strahov Monastery and the Opera Grill at Divadelni 24. In the Lesse Town across the river try the Olympia Grill (Serikova 4) and Valdstejnska Hospoda (Tomasska 20). Food is good at inexpensive restaurants such as the Peilkan (Na Prikope 7), or the Klaterni Vinarna (Pugaeevova). There are a number of lunch bars and self service automats. For fish, try the Rybi Grill (Vaclavske namesti).

Czech Republic is famous for its Pilsner beer. Prague has a number of interesting wine cellars, among them U Zlate Konvice and U Zlateho Jelinka. From Morvia comes the fiery Czech Slivovice (plum brandy). Imported wines and spirits are available.

Partheon Temple in Athens, Greece

Partheon Temple in Athens, Greece

The Parthenon is a temple in the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their protector. Its construction began in 447 BCE and was completed in 438 BCE, although decorations of the Parthenon continued until 432 BCE. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered to be the culmination of the development of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art.

The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece and of Athenian democracy and one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments. The Greek Ministry of Culture is currently carrying out a programme of selective restoration and reconstruction to ensure the stability of the partially ruined structure.

Ancient Agora of Athens in Greece

Ancient Agora of Athens in Greece

The Ancient Agora of Classical Athens is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora, located to the northwest of the Acropolis and bounded on the south by the hill of the Areopagus and on the west by the hill known as the Agoraios Kolonos, also called Market Hill.

As you walk through the ruins of the Agora in Athens (open market area and place of assembly), keep in mind that this was the magnificent citycenter of ancient Athens.

Philosopher Socrates and his disciples came daily to Agora for discourse. One of the first buildings you’ll see is the Temple of Hephaistos, named after the Vulcan God, who shared with Athena the honor of being a patron deity of the arts and crafts. The temple was built between 4th and 5th century B.C., and is the best preserved of all the Greek temples. Between the Theseum and the Stoa of Attalos, you’ll simply have to imagine that you are walking between other temples, government buildings, gymnasiums and stoas.

Ancient Agora of Athens in Greece

Buildings and Structures of the Classical Agora

Plan showing major buildings and structures of the agora of Athens as it was in the 5th century BC

Metroon
Peristyle Court
Mint
Enneakrounos
South Stoa I and South Stoa II
Aiakeion
Strategeion
Agoraios Kolonos
Tholos
Agora stone
Monument of the Eponymous Heroes
Metroon (Old Bouleuterion)
New Bouleuterion
Temple of Hephaestus (Hephaestion)
Temple of Apollo Patroos
Stoa of Zeus
Altar of the Twelve Gods
Stoa Basileios (Royal stoa)
Temple of Aphrodite Urania
Stoa of Hermes
Stoa Poikile

Other Notable Monuments

A number of other notable monuments were added to the agora. Some of these included:

The Middle stoa which was the most extensive monument built during the 100s B.C.E.
A small Roman temple was added in front of the Middle stoa.
An Altar of Zeus Agoraios was added just to the east of the Monument to the Eponymous Heroes.
The Temple of Ares, dedicated to Ares, the god of war, was added in the north half agora, just south of the Altar of the Twelve Gods.
The Odeon of Agrippa and accompanying gymnasium were added in the centre of the agora.
The substantial Stoa of Attalos was built along the eastern edge of the agora.
A collection of buildings were added to the south-east corner: the East stoa, the Library of Pantainos, the Nymphaeum and a temple.
There is evidence of a Synagogue in the Agora of Athens in the 3rd century.
A statue of the Roman emperor Hadrian was located near the metroon.
The Temple of Zeus Phratrios and Athena Phratria dated to the 300s B.C.E. and is located near the Temple of Apollo Patroos.
The south end of what is believed to be a Basilica has been uncovered near Hadrian Street and is dated to the mid 100s C.E.
The Monopteros was located south of the Basilica and also dated to the mid 100s C.E. It had no walls, was a dome supported by columns and was about 8 meters in diameter.
The Bema was a speakers platform and was located near the Stoa of Attalos.