Cyprus, Nicosia

Legends of love of Northern Cyprus

Updated: 2 months ago

On February 14, Valentine's Day, let's remember the Cypriot legends of love. After all, this is an ancient island where many interesting stories have happened, and some of them have been immortalized by the classics of world literature and sculpture.

The goddess of love Aphrodite was born from sea foam and emerged from the water on the coast of Cyprus. Aphrodite in Ancient Greece and Venus in Ancient Rome was one of the most revered inhabitants of Olympus. All social classes worshiped the goddess of love - from aristocrats to plebeians, and lovers from the furthest reaches of the empire flocked to the island (Aphrodite's homeland). They believed that Cyprus would fulfill their romantic wish. Statues of Aphrodite can be seen in the most famous museums in the world. In the southern part of the island, there are remains of the destroyed temple of Aphrodite, there are still orange groves where, according to legends, the goddess walked. There, you can also make wishes about love.

The Fortress of Famagusta or Othello's Castle bears the imprint of tragedy. It is believed that William Shakespeare studied historical chronicles and the plot of the play "Othello" - events that occurred in Famagusta castle. Allegedly, the Venetian commandant of Cyprus strangled his wife out of jealousy right here. Perhaps this legend goes back to real events from the life of the governor Christopher Moro, who ruled the island in 1505—1508, 65 years before Cyprus was captured by the Turks. No matter how sad the story, it inspired Shakespeare, who calls for trusting loved ones.

According to legend, the harbor of Kyrenia is also called the "Bay of the black girl". Next to the harbor was the harem of the Ottoman sultan, and one of his concubines, a dark-skinned beauty, fell in love with an ordinary young man. They even secretly met. But the girl wanted to change the color of her skin to a lighter one, to please her beloved even more. According to legend, the gods came to her in a dream and advised bathing at midnight in the bay - then the skin would change color. The girl did everything and transformed from a black girl into a Cypriot: her skin became olive. Only the young man fell out of love with the girl in her changed form and found another - an African. The heroine of the legend could not bear the betrayal and drowned in the harbor. The story is sad, but like any legend, it hints at something.
Happy Valentine's Day to all! Love and take care of each other.

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