Exhibits at the Lemesos (Limassol) District Archaeological Museum include an outstanding assortment of antiquities from the Neolithic age to the Roman period which originate from numerous archaeological sites of the Lemesos district.
These exhibits can be found in three rooms and are separated into three major groups. In the first room a visitor can admire pottery from various historical periods while in the middle room exhibits include coins, jewellery, lamps and different copper tools and objects. In the third room items include sculptures, tombstones, capitals, inscriptions and various marble and limestone artifacts as well as numerous objects which relate to the cult of Aphrodite, including fertility and other votive offerings and female terracotta figurines.
The museum is linked with the Aphrodite Cultural Route.
CYPRUS WINE MUSEUM
The Cyprus Wine museum is situated in the village of Erimi, at the edge of the wine-producing countryside and introduces visitors to the history of the island’s long winemaking tradition.
Various presentations illustrate the stages of wine production and consumption as well as the different uses of wine. The social, economic and symbolic elements of wine production are highlighted through ancient jars and canisters, medieval drinking vessels, old documents and instruments while wine tasting is also available.
FOLK ART MUSEUM
The Folk-Art museum in Limassol was founded in 1985 and hosts an exclusive assortment of Cypriot folk art dating back to the period between the 19th-20th centuries. The visitor can admire clothing, embroidery, farming tools, wooden objects, ceramics, pottery, furniture, decorative pieces and jewellery as well as a loom, a traditional Cypriot bedroom, dowry and traditional costumes.
CLASSICAL & HISTORIC CAR MUSEUM
The museum was founded by veteran champion of international and Cypriot rally competitions Mr Dimi Mavropoulos and includes his personal car collection.
Displays emphasize the cultural significance of the evolution and growth of the automobile industry and includes a Ford “T” roadster from 1912, with over 100 years of life on the road. The museum also hosts vehicles with cultural and emotional importance for the Cypriot people including the armored presidential Cadillac which was donated by the US government and created especially for President Makarios III in 1977.
Additional exhibits include the famous and officially certified green Mini from the popular “Mr Bean” movies and the Rover P5 cars of 1973 used by former Prime Minister of the UK Margaret Thatcher.
LOCAL KOURION MUSEUM
Kourion Archaeological museum is housed in the private residence of late General George McFadden, Assistant Director of the University of Pensylvania. The house represents a traditional building while Mr McFadden was known for his extensive archaeological research at the ancient city of Kourion from 1934 – 1953.
The museum was created in 1969 and includes two exhibition halls which host pieces from nearby archaeological sites. The collection includes red polished ware of the early Bronze age, pottery and items of golden jewellery of the Mycenaean era as well as numerous offerings from the Sanctuary of Apollon Hylates.
One of the most notable exhibits include the skeletal remains of inhabitants of the city who died in the 4th century earthquakes and were found in situ in a roman house.
The Cyprus Medieval museum exhibits tombstones, exquisite silver Byzantine era plates, weapons, crosses, coins and medieval pottery, and is situated in the Medieval Castle of Lemesos (Limassol).
The castle dates back to the 13th century and was built on the site of a Byzantine castle near the old harbor of Limassol. Archaeological sources support that it was much larger originally while the Venetians made many modifications such as wall strengthening to ward off sea pirates, using it for defense purposes.
According to the legend, Richard the Lionheart, who was the King of England and leader of the 3rd Crusade, married Berengaria of Navarre in the castle’s chapel in 1191 and crowned her Queen of England. The marriage took place while the king was on his way to the Holy Land and landed near Amathus. The castle was used as a garrison and jail by the Ottomans when it was conquered in 1570 and as a police station during the British rule while for a short time it was used as a place of confinement.
Lemesos (Limassol) Municipal Art Gallery hosts over 600 paintings, sculptures, pottery and mixed media pieces, representing one of the largest and richest assortment of Cypriot modern art. Artwork is exhibited in an old building designed by German-Jewish architect Ginsdbury in 1938, as well as new ground halls.
In the old building one can find artwork by famous Cypriot artists such as Adamantios Diamantis, Christoforos Savva and Telemachos Kanthos while the ground halls include pieces of new Cypriot artists. Exhibits in the museum basement include the National Liberation Revolution tribute collection which belongs to the Historical Remembrance Council.
CYPRUS THEATRE MUSEUM
The Cyprus Theatre museum is housed in the Panos Solomonides Cultural Center and was inaugurated in 2012. Thematic sections include “The History” (depicting the major stages of theatre activity in the island), “The Contributors” (highlighting the important phases of theatre production) and “The Performance” (exhibiting costumes from major and symbolic performances of Cypriot theatre history).
The collections are enriched by exhibits such as printed material, costumes, scale models, props, set and costume designs, photographs and posters allowing visitors to glimpse in the island’s rich history of theatre.
The Water museum is situated next to the offices of Lemesos Water Board and the building housed the old Lemesos (Limassol) Water Pumping Station (the “Water Machine”) which was build in 1925. It is recorded in the Protected Historic Buildings List of the Cyprus Department of Town Planning and Housing and was used to pump water from the Garyllis Delta aquifer. Water was distributed to the town of Lemesos using water pipes via the Lemesos Water Tower. This distribution system was considered a major innovation not only for Cyprus but for the whole geographical region.
Restoration of the old building of the Water Pumping Station was carried out in recent years and included a new modern building which was created adjacent to the old one to house the “Water Museum and Center of Water Awareness Development”. Exhibits in the Water museum include valuable archaeological pieces associated to water and numerous unique objects and instruments related to pumping, recording the consumption, quality testing or other water activities.
Collections are further enhanced by extensive photographic material and a short film highlighting the significance and role of water in the town’s history.
The Pafos District Archaeological Museum displays an assortment of pieces dating back from the Neolithic Age to 1700 AD which originate from the Pafos (Paphos) region.
The displays are located across five rooms and come from Palaipafos (Kouklia), Nea Pafos (present-day Pafos), and Marion-Arsinoe (Polis). Additionally, the collection is enriched by finds from the villages of Pegeia, Kissonerga, Lempa, Pano Arodes, Salamiou, Akourdalia, Pomos, Kidasi and Geroskipou. Items are divided in the separate rooms according to the period of origin. Indicatively, the first room includes the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age with coins cut from the mint of Pafos. The second room covers the Iron Age to the Classical period containing a tombstone from Marion with the Cyprosyllabic script while the third room houses the Hellenistic and Roman periods including a unique marble bust of Aphrodite and a marble statue of Asklepios. The fourth room displays items from the late Roman and early Christian periods and the final room includes pieces from the Byzantine period and the Middle Ages.
The museum in linked to the Aphrodite Cultural Route.
KATO PAPHOS ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK
The Archaeological Park of Kato Pafos (Paphos) is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list since 1980 and represents one of the most prominent archaeological sites of the Island.
The city was moved to its present location near the harbor at the end of the 4th century BC by Nicocles, the last king of Palaipafos and it was the capital of the Island between the 2nd century BC and the 4th century AD.
The visitor can admire sites and monuments from the 4th century BC to the Middle Ages with the majority dating from the Roman period. The most profound exhibits are the elaborate mosaic floors of four roman villas, the house of Dionyssos, Theseus, Aion and Orpheus which illustrate scenes from Greek mythology.
Other monuments of exceptional value include the Asklepeion, the Odeon, the Agora, the Saranta Kolones (forty columns) Castle, the Limeniotissa ruins of an Early Christian Basilica and the Tombs of the Kings.
Situated in the central square of Geroskipou, The Ecclesiastical Museum of Pafos (Paphos) is housed in the same building where the old elementary school of the village used to be.
The museum exhibits a famous assortment of icons, ecclesiastical metallic objects such as censers, lamps and candlesticks and a collection of wood-carved items such as iconostases, Royal doors and crucifixions.
Additional collections include ecclesiastical embroidery such as gold sacerdotal vestments, epitaph and manuscripts and old books. Some of these manuscripts are Gospels of 1462 and 1604, Hymnologium of the 15th century and Firmary of 1853 and detached wall frescoes from the 12th century AD.
An outstanding exhibit, and one of the oldest in Cyprus is the small icon of Agia Marina with uplifted arms in the orans. This particular piece represents the only sample which dates back to the pre-iconoclastic period, 7th-8th century.
EPISKOPI ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION CENTRE
The Environmental center is located within the boundaries of the village of Episkopi, is 11 km away from the roundabout at the entrance of the city of Paphos and is on the main road which connects the village with the city.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF MARION-ARSINOE, POLIS
The museum is in Polis Chrysochou, the most important resort of the Paphos district and includes a striking collection of items which were discovered in the area where once stood the ancient city-kingdom of Marion-Arsinoe.
The building includes two rooms and an atrium. In the first room one can find items in chronological order, describing historical development of the region from Neolithic to Medieval periods. The second room displays a unique collection of items which originate from the area’s rich necropolis.
During the Hellenistic-Roman period, Marion was renamed Arsinoe while it was a prominent commercial center in the Classical and Hellenistic periods cooperating closely with Athens. Today it is the small town of Polis Chrysochous, mostly known as Polis.
The museum links with the Aphrodite Cultural Route.
ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM OF GEROSKIPOU
This museum was founded in 1978 and is housed in the “House of Hadjismith”, a traditional 18th-century building. Exhibits originate from all over Cyprus and represent an enormous and diverse collection. They describe the daily life, crafts, activities and different variations of the Cypriot folk art in the period between the 19th and early 20th centuries.
A visitor can learn about rural crafts such as pottery, scarf making, rug weaving, rope making and the manufacture of silk for which Cyprus was famous.
The “House of Hadjismith” was part of a larger complex of buildings and represents an exceptional sample of a grand house by the standards of its time. It is listed as an Ancient Monument and once belonged to the British Consular Agent for Western Cyprus, Andreas Zimboulakis. He was a prominent personality, rich and educated, and was responsible for the provisioning of the British troops. Sir Sydney Smith, British Admiral, was a regular visitor, hence giving the nickname “Smith’s House” to the building. The village of Geroskipou gets its name from the Greek words “ieros kipos” (sacred garden), since it was the site of Aphrodite’s sacred gardens.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF PALAIPAFOS
One of the most prominent city-kingdoms of Cyprus was the one of Palaipafos (“old Pafos” in Greek) and is located in the village of Kouklia. It was the first Cypriot site to be included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 1980.
Two legends exist in relation to how Palaipafos was founded. One supports that the city-kingdom was created by Agapinor, the king of Tegea (Peloponesus), on his way back from the Trojan War. The other legend says that it was founded by the local legendary king (12th century) and first High Priest of the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, Kinyras. The Sanctuary of Aphrodite is one of the most prominent monuments with its remains dating back to the 12th century BC. It was a place of worship until the 3rd-4th centuries AD.
Important monuments of Palaipafos include the House of Leda, the northeast gate of the defensive wall, the city wall and the Palace of Hadji Abdulla, the church of Panagia Katholiki, the Lusignan Manor House, the cemeteries and the Lusignan sugar-cane refinery in the coastal plain.
The museum displays a variety of striking items from the region and describes how the Cult of the Goddess of Fertility developed into the Cult of Aphrodite. It is housed in a Lusignan manor while the sugar-cane refinery is open to the public.
The site is linked to the Aphrodite Cultural Route.
THALASSA MUNICIPAL MUSEUM
The Thalassa Museum was named after the Greek word for “sea” and was developed to support knowledge regarding the island’s marine heritage from the prehistoric period to the present. It is situated in a multipurpose cultural center and represents a modern and interactive architectural design.
The most significant exhibit of the Museum is the life-size reproduction of the famous 4th century Greek trade ship “Kyrenia II” which sunk near the Kyrenia coast around 300BC. Due to the unique design of the building, all exhibits including pottery and antiquities can be viewed from various angles and levels including a bird eye view.
In the Museum basement one can admire the marine life section with exhibits a variety of fish and sea mammals, crustaceans, corals, shells or fossils, some as old as 130 million years.
The Museum also operates as an art exhibition center and houses various events and conferences.
A novel venue, situated at the crossroad of Cape Greko and Kryou Nerou Avenue, the park consists of around 20,000 square meters of land and cactus area. It offers visitors an ideal place to enjoy a relaxing stroll with eye-catching views of the surrounding area and numerous benches along its sidewalks to sit and unwind.
The park includes sculptures by more than 50 artists from numerous countries who took part in the annual Sculpture Symposium which is organized by the Municipality of Ayia Napa. New pieces are added to the collection constantly to enrich the variety of the collection and it is worth mentioning that in 2015 artists from around the world turned the park into an open-air workshop by creating their sculptures on-site for more than three weeks.
The venue is extended to include the park of Mediterranean Plants, Cacti and Succulents which aims to exhibit the various cacti and dried plant varieties of the island.
AVGOROU FOLK ART MUSEUM
In a short distance from Ayia Napa, the Avgorou Ethnographical Museum which can be found in the village of Avgorou is situated in an old two-storey traditional house within an extensive courtyard. The museum exhibits a variety of items including traditional furniture and old silk wheels and introduces to visitors the way of life of previous generations.
THE TRADITIONAL CYPRIOT HOUSE IN PARALIMNI
This museum is situated in the center of Paralimni and displays include traditional household items and utensils such as costumes, kitchenware, tools, weaver’s looms or hand mills. In the spacious courtyard one can find a variety of farming equipment and visitors can enjoy all exhibits free of charge.
DERYNEIA FOLK ART MUSEUM
The Deryneia Folk Art Museum is situated in an old traditional house and displays a variety of agricultural tools and equipment which were essential for farming families of past times. It is located opposite the Open Air Traditional Folk Art Museum which further enriches knowledge in relation to traditional professions such as furniture or shoe maker, carpenter, tailor, blacksmith, builder, barber, sculptor, fisherman or farmer. The attractive yards of this museum are further used not only for exhibits but also for civil marriages and numerous cultural events.
SOTIRA ECCLESIASTICAL MUSEUM & CHAPELS
Housed in the chapel of Saint George in Sotira village, this museum displays rare religious treasures such as ancient icons (including one of Jesus Christ from the 15th century), crosses, liturgical vessels and books, old Gospels and various religious artifacts. Exhibits include one of only three portable wooden altars of the 16th century that exist in Cyprus.
The church of Metamorphosis tou Sotiros (Transfiguration of the Saviour), is situated next to the museum. This church represents a unique sample of architecture and is a stone-built, single-aisle, vaulted building constructed on the foundations of an earlier Byzantine basilica temple.
The importance of the village of Sotira during Byzantine times can be verified by the number of old churches situated in the vicinity.