Girne Travel Guide

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Antique and Medieval Heritage

Antique and Medieval Heritage

Dzmitry Samakhvalau

Before the 1974 war, Kyrene (now called Girne) used to be one of Cyprus' major tourist resorts. Girne is situated excellently, in the centre of the islands northern coastline and at the foot of the Kyrenia Range. Its former tourist hotels still remain, but many more have been built since 2000, a result of the booming tourism industry.

Kyrenia's first settlement dates from at least 6000 years ago.  Some historians think that its beginnings go back to the 10th century BC, when it was one of the nine original kingdoms of Cyprus.

The city and its surrounding is an archaeological paradise.  Girne's great attraction lies in its Venetian castle which now hosts the Ship Wreck Museum and its enchanting harbour. In the vicinity of the ancient town you will find castles and monasteries, situated in the beautifully scenic area of the coast.

Since 1974, after the Turkish peace operation and as a result of the partition of Cyprus island between its Greek and Turkish inhabitants, Kyrenia has been under Turkish Cypriot rule.  There was a population exchange after the war to relocate Greeks to the south and Turks to the north of the island.  The two communities have lived peacefully since 1974 without any major incidents, and Kyrenia has become the pearl of the young country Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus.

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