Cyprus’ 10,000 year old history has brought up innumerable finds over the years, so much so that it is said if you scratch the soil anywhere on the island you are bound to unearth a relic from the past.
All the island’s main cities have an archaeological museum to house the regional findings, with pride of place taken by the main archaeological museum in the capital, Lefkosia (Nicosia). Quite a few private and state galleries will guide you through the most recent years of arts and culture of the island up until today.
A number of specialist museums exist on the island where you can admire some exquisite examples of icons and ecclesiastical objects that have survived over time. You can also find small folk art museums all over the island where 19th and early 20th century Cypriot folk art and crafts, can be seen displayed often in beautifully restored old buildings, in whose rooms the way of life in years gone by is recreated.
The Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia
The history of the city of Nicosia, from antiquity to the present era, unfolds in a complex of traditional buildings on Hippocrates Street no.15-17. The Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia is located in the old city within the walls, not very far from Eleftheria Square. The idea of creating a museum dedicated to the history of Nicosia was that of the former mayor of the city, Lellos Demetriades. The Museum was founded in 1984 by the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation and was inaugurated in 1989. Two years later, in 1991, the Leventis Museum was honoured with the European Museum of the Year Award. Today, entirely refurbished and with the new “Constantine Leventis” wing, the Museum aims to continue in its mission of contributing to the protection of Nicosia’s history. The permanent exhibition spaces are home to exhibits which take the visitor on a journey through Nicosia’s history, a history that began 1.800.000 years ago when the sea between the Troodos and Pentadactylos range gave birth to a fertile plain called the Mesaoria.
The permanent exhibition includes: the Nicosia Gallery, with objects dating from the birth of the region and the ancient city (3900 BC-325 AD); the Byzantine and Mediaeval Galleries (325-1489 AD) which have a unique collection of glazed vessels from the 13-16th century, as well as other objects presenting the city when it was capital of the Mediaeval Kingdom of Cyprus; the Venetian Period Galleries (1489-1570 AD) which showcase the single most important collection of mediaeval and modern maps of Nicosia; the Ottoman Period Galleries (1570-1878 AD) presenting the city as travellers saw it in the difficult years of the Ottoman occupation; and the British Period Gallery (1878-1960 AD) offering the social development of the city during the English occupation. Special mention is also given to the recent history from 1960 until today.
The Museum also offers organized educational programs, tours and other events. The temporary exhibition space hosts exhibitions from other museums and foundations from Cyprus and abroad, while, at the same time, it organizes exhibitions aimed at the promotion of the history and social development of the city. In the Museum’s shop publications and memorabilia are on sale and the profits go towards the enrichment of the Museum’s collections.
The visitor has the opportunity to learn about the history of Nicosia and the objects that represent the life of Cypriots in both the Greek and English languages. Maps of the museum are available in Greek, English, Italian, French and German. Admission to the Museum is free since it operates on a system of voluntary donations.
The Museum provides facilities for visitors with disabilities.
The history of Nicosia unfolds not only in the galleries, but also on the official Museum website www.leventismuseum.org.cy.
Tel.: +357 22 661 475
Address: Ippokratous 17, Laiki Geitonia, Lefkosia
Operating Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 – 16:30, Closed on public holidays
Entrance Fee: Free entrance
Local Museum of Ancient Idalion
The local museum of Idalion was founded in 2007 with the aim to promote the rich finds of the region of Idalion and later to function as a visitors´ centre for the archaeological site in which it is located.
The exhibits of the museum represent all the chronological phases of the history of Idalion and come from both the old and the more recent excavations of the area of the ancient city and from both settlements and cemeteries. In the first exhibition hall the visitor is provided with information on the history of the site and its excavation, as well as photographs with the most important finds now housed in museums abroad. Also exhibited in the same hall, in an eloquent manner, are the Proto-Aeolic capitals which adorned the funerary monuments and the palace of Idalion and two typical examples of the coroplastic and glyptic art that produced works of art of superior quality.
In the second gallery, inscriptions which witness the conquest of the kingdom are exhibited, as well as part of the archive of the Phoenician administration of the city, funerary monuments, pottery types and objects of daily use of all periods with explanatory texts which outline the importance of each period. Imported types of pottery and typical examples of clay and stone statuary are also on exhibition. In a special part of the exhibition, material such as photographs, storage jars and other small objects of high artistic quality, portray the important role of the economy of Idalion to the cultural development of the area, which constitutes today the focus of many studies and admiration worldwide.
Note: Wheelchair accessible
Address: Dali, Lefkosia
Operation Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 08:00 – 15:00 Wednesday: 08:00 – 17:00
Entrance Fee: 4,50 Euro. There is a reduction of 20% for groups of visitors consisting of more than ten persons. The Director of the Department can issue special entry cards for a period of one day for €8,50 for a period of three days for €17,00 and for a period of seven days for €25,00
Folklore Museum Aradippou ‘Kostas Kaimakliotis’
The Folklore Museum, an old mansion originally belonging to the Kostas Xatzikakou family, was built in 1901 and later on came in the possession of the Pavlos Konstantinides family. It was bought by the Kaimakliotis family and was donated to Aradippou Municipality in the memory of Kostas Kaimakliotis, with the purpose of becoming a folklore museum. On 3rd July 2007 the Folklore Museum of Aradippou was inaugurated.
The Museum was created with the aspiration of becoming a model centre for preserving, researching and promoting Cypriot Folklore Tradition.
On the basement the following can be found:
Domestic appliances Hall
Farming and animal raising Hall
Traditional jobs Hall
On the upper storey the two following rooms can be found:
A single room
Hall of the social and cultural traditions of Aradippou
(Reenactment of the traditional ritual of dressing up the bride)
Throughout the summer several cultural and artistic performances and exhibitions are organized by both the Municipality and other groups at the small amphitheatre situated at the Museum’s yard.
From March until May the visitors of the museum can admire the process of breeding silkworms.
Tel: +357 24 531 218, Fax: +357 24 530 690
Address: Thermopilos 12, Aradippou, Larnaka
Operating Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30 – 14:30
Entrance Fee: Free Entrance
The Cyprus Classic Motorcycle Museum
The Cyprus Classic Motorcycle Museum in Lefkosia (Nicosia) was established by Andreas Nicolaou and is the result of a 20 – year personal effort. Today, this collection comprises more than 150 pieces. The museum exhibits motorcycles dated between 1914 – 1983, such as AJS, MV Aqusta, Matchless, Norton, BSA, Triumph, Ariel, BMW, James, Moto Guzzi, Royal Enfield and many more.
Tel: +357 99 543 215, +357 22 680 222, Fax: +357 22 680 222
Address: Granikou 44, Lefkosia
Operating Hours: Monday – Friday: 09:30 – 13:00, 15:30 – 18:00, 15:30 – 19:00 (June – August) Saturday: 09:00 – 13:00
Operating Period: All year round