Ten facts about Cyprus

By: Keith Barrett

1. Cyprus gained independence in 1960. The country had previously been controlled by Great Britain and joined the British Commonwealth in 1961, meaning that Cyprus sends a team to the Commonwealth Games every four years.

2. This is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

3. The country joined the European Union on 1 May 2004. Nine other countries joined the EU on the same date - they were: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia.

4. According to its 2007 census, Cyprus has a population of 788,457 people.

5.

Cyprus uses the Euro as its currency, in common with many member states of the European Union. At the present time, the Euro is the common currency for more than 300 million people throughout the continent.

6. The national anthem of the country is known as the Hymn to Liberty, which is also the national anthem of Greece.

7. The vast majority of Shakespeare's play, Othello, was set on the island of Cyprus. The play is believed to have been written in 1603 and is still seen by many as being very relevant to today's world.

8. Cyprus was also the mythical birthplace of one of the most famous Greek Gods - Aphrodite. Aphrodite was the Greek God of love and beauty. She should be be confused with Venus, who was her Roman equivalent.

9. It is believed that people first lived on the island more than 12Free Articles,000 years ago.

10. The United Kingdom still retains control over 3 per cent of the island's land and sea territories.

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