A visit to the north of Cyprus
Kyrenia is a vibrant city on the northern coast of Cyprus, with stunning views of a 12th-century castle against a backdrop of rugged mountains. The town was founded by the Achaeans after the Trojan war in 1300 BC and was fortified by the Romans, Byzantines, Franks and Venetians throughout the centuries.
The picturesque town has a population of roughly 46,000 and is one of the main tourist destinations in the area. It has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere with numerous seaside cafés and restaurants. The quaint shops also cater to the various needs of tourists and casual visitors.
The outer walls of Kyrenia Castle (Girne Kalesi) were built by the Venetians in the 16th century around a 12th century Crusader fortress. Inside, the ruins of a 12th century Byzantine chapel can be visited as well as a shipwreck museum. There are outstanding views of Kyrenia and the harbour from the walls, but caution is advised as parts are narrow and uneven.
In 1965, a local sponge diver on the north coast found the wreck of a Greek merchant ship dating to the 4th century BC. The ship's main cargo was 400 amphorae of wine as well as other products, including jars of 9000 almonds. The ship had most likely stopped at Samos, Cos and Rhodes before foundering off the shore of Cyprus with its crew of four. Its wooden structure was made from Jerusalem pine and is the oldest shipwreck ever recovered.
While this port has witnessed power struggles over the years, today it is a haven of tranquility and rest.
It is a special blessing to know God's peace in our lives. The early Christians were exhorted to live in peace, even though the Roman state persecuted and tortured many of them. They had received God's peace through faith in the atoning work of Christ at Calvary, when He laid down His life as a sacrifice for sin. The peace of knowing forgiveness of sins from a loving God surpasses all peace.
Only real peace from God will last against all the odds. As we strive to live in peace, the 'God of love and peace' promises to be with us.