The history of Cyprus offers a reflection of larger world history. Coveted by a succession of foreign powers, it has been repeatedly occupied: the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, crusaders, Venetians, Genoese, Ottomans, and British have all left their mark on this Mediterranean island. Alongside the Roman and early Byzantine ruins of Salamis, other impressive monuments date from the Frankish and Venetian times, including the Abbey of Bellapais; the fortified harbor of Kyrenia; the magnificent cathedrals of Nicosia; and Famagusta, the setting for Shakespeare’s Othello.
In The Geckos of Bellapais, Joachim Sartorius shares the cultures and legends, colors and lights of the Levant. He explores the island’s history—including its division after the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the difficulties that followed. A revealing exploration of Cyprus after the Turkish partition and an evocative account of one poet’s life on one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean, this book belongs among the world’s best travel writing.