The cultural heritage of Cyprus goes back more than 9000 years. Of course, today the situation in Cyprus brings with it that most of everybody's attention go to the events of the last 20 years rather than to those of several millennia ago. The north of the island is the Turkish part.
Names of cities and villages are being changed Turkish and there is a lot of effort to make the inhabitants embrace the life and culture of its northern neighbor. The Republic is also trying to create an independent identity, and many places in the Republic have recently been renamed as well.
However, there are numerous relics from the rich past of this island. Relics from every era - Greek temples, Roman mosaics and 15th-century wall-paintings. Most of these remainders of the past still influence the artists of today. Many villages specialize in a particular art form. During a trip around Cyprus the visitor can see pottery, silver and copperware, basket weaving, tapestry and Lefkara's famous lacework, all being manufactured on the spot..
The division is also clearly visible in the religious field : the northerners are mostly Sunni Muslim, whereas the southerners are Greek Orthodox. Food, too, reflects the divide: in the North you'll find mostly Turkish cuisine; in the Republic, Greek. But wherever you are in Cyprus, you'll come across kleftiko (oven-baked lamb) and mezedes (dips, salads and other appetizers). Cyprus is also famous for its fruit, which the government protects with a ban on imported products. You'll find strawberries, stone fruit, melons, prickly pear, citrus and grapes.