Ayia Napa

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Ayia Napa
Αγία Νάπα (Greek)
Aya Napa (Turkish)
View of Agia Napa beach located in vicinity of Nelia Beach Hotel.jpg
Official seal of Ayia Napa
Seal
Ayia Napa is located in Cyprus
Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa
Location of Ayia Napa within Cyprus
Coordinates: 34°59′N 34°00′E / 34.98°N 34.00°E / 34.98; 34.00Coordinates: 34°59′N 34°00′E / 34.98°N 34.00°E / 34.98; 34.00
Country  Cyprus
District Famagusta District
Government
 • Mayor Yiannis Karousos
Population (2001)[1]
 • Total 2,693
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Website http://www.agianapa.org.cy/

Ayia Napa (officially romanised Agia Napa; Greek: Αγία Νάπα [locally [aˈʝanːapa]]; Turkish: Aya Napa) is a resort at the far eastern end of the southern coast of Cyprus.

Etymology[edit]

The name Ayia Napa is derived from a Venetian-era monastery of the same name, located in the centre of the town, next to the square that today is the clubbing centre. The word "Ayia" (Agia) means "holy" in Greek. "Napa" is archaic and means "wooded valley" or dell. In ancient times the area surrounding the town was covered with thick forest.

History[edit]

According to local legend, the now renowned original icon was accidentally discovered by a hunter in pursuit of his prey. Upon discovery, the icon of the Virgin Mary was called Virgin Mary of Napa, eventually shortened and now known as Ayia Napa. The present monastery, built in 1100, was built around the cave, in honour of the Virgin Mary of Ayia Napa. According to local tradition, until 1790 no one lived within close vicinity of Ayia Napa. The first inhabitants were from Salonica, Greece. The name of the first inhabitant of Ayia Napa was Nikolaos Kemitzis from Thesalloniki. He arrived from Greece around 1790 and got married to a village located on the northern east part of Ayia Napa and Paralimni, the name of the village was Panayia. Soon after the marriage Kemitzis had a fight with the Ottoman authorities which ruled Cyprus at the time, and decided to move near the monastery of Ayia Napa.

Geography[edit]

Cavo Greco natural park.

Geographically, Ayia Napa lies near Cape Greco at the eastern part of Cyprus, just south of Famagusta and forms part of a larger area known as Kokkinochoria ("Red Villages", a name derived from the red colour of their soil). It is a town of Famagusta District, in the remaining southern part of the district occupied by Turkish forces in 1974. Ayia Napa is about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Protaras, a town that has recently seen similar development, but still manages to remain low-key and remains more favourable for families and Cypriot locals.

Monastery[edit]

Ayia Napa Monastery is "the only building of historical interest" in the Ayia Napa area.[2]

Museums, ruins, arts and culture[edit]

Thalassa Museum.
Interior of Thalassa Museum.

The town contains a number of museums. The Tornaritis - Pierides Museum of Marine Life was founded in June 1992 in Ayia Napa and is located at the lower level of the Town hall. It exhibits past and present marine life, scientifically classified. Its main purpose is to show the marine fauna of Cyprus and the Mediterranean, helping the study and research of this part of Natural History, but also to stress the importance and necessity of preserving the marine environment.

Thalassa, the Municipal Museum of the Sea in Ayia Napa, is dedicated to the enhancement, promotion and preservation of the marine heritage of Cyprus, from prehistoric times to the present. Located at the centre of Ayia Napa, the Museum displays marine artifacts and serves as a centre for educational programmes and community cultural events. The Museum houses sculptures, engravings, ceramics and paintings of seascapes made by some of the greatest 19th and 20th century Greek and Cypriot artists.

The Makronissos Tombs are found west of Ayia Napa village. They are an ancient burial site, located at a stepped road, which leads down to a rectangular entrance. The entrances were originally closed with one large or two smaller calcarenke slabs.

The Ayia Napa Sculpture Park, which is located in the east side of Ayia Napa, was recently completed. an initiative of the young mayor Yiannis Karousos under his strategy complete tourist experience. the sculpture park was inaugurated in May 2014 with the organisation of the 1st Sculpture Symposium of Ayia Napa. 17 sculpts were created on the site with participation's from Cyprus and Greece. the municipality now continues to the organisation of the 2nd Symposioum, which now has received an international Status with participants from Europe, US, Middle East and Cyprus.

Festival[edit]

The Ayia Napa Festival was first held in September 1985 and has been established as an annual event since, usually over the last weekend of September. It takes place in Sepheris Square in Ayia Napa Monastery. The festivities reflect the historic, cultural and agricultural traditions of Ayia Napa and Cyprus as a whole. The programme includes theatrical performances, operas, concerts and Cypriot and foreign folk dancing. Famous artists visited the festival such as Nana mousxouri, Marios frangoullis, Viki Leandros, George Dalaras, the Tenors of the 21st Century of Moscow

Ayia Napa Youth Festival[edit]

The Ayia Napa Youth Festival was established in 2010[3] when the Ayia Napa youth council, accepted the proposal of its president Yiannis Karousos and decided to organise a festival similar to the large music festivals of Europe, combining activities and music. The festival is based on several principles such as free entrance, the headliners to be chosen by the public, a charity goal, a social responsibility message attached to it; all styles of music are welcome. At the first festival which took place at the harbour square of Ayia Napa more than 10,000 people visited the festival during the three-day period with bands such as the Greek reggae act Locomondo, the pop-rock band MPLE and the hip hop band Stavento featuring Ivi Adamou. Also 25 bands performed, most of them in the music styles of rock and metal. In 2011 the Ayia Napa Youth Festival became international and included the band Stratovarius, Sabaton, Rotting Christ, Nightstalker, and 20 bands from all over Europe and Cyprus. The 3rd Ayia Napa Youth Festival took place on 24 and 25/9 2012 with popular rock artists on its roster such as Vasilis Papakonstantinou, Katsimixa brothers, Nighstalker and many other bands from Malta, Greece and Cyprus.

World record[edit]

Following the proposal of Mayor Yiannis Karousos,[4] then President of the Ayia Napa Tourism Committee, on September 16, 2007, the world's longest chain of syrtaki dancers (an ostensibly traditional Greek dance) danced to Zorba the Greek in a successful attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. The chain had a total of 268 members of eight groups dancing in step to Zorbas. Then Ayia Napa Mayor Antonis Tsokkos said the aim of the event was to send the message that the village was interested in Greek culture and to promote the tourist resort abroad. Head of the cultural services of the Municipality Maria Tofini said that according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the dancers had to perform in synchronised step for the attempt to qualify. The event drew the attention of tourists and locals, many of whom danced to Zorbas on the beach and in the sea.[5]

The Ayia Napa Walk of Fame - Square[edit]

In order to honor the famous personalities and artists which visited and still visit Ayia Napa, the City of Ayia Napa in 2013 has inaugurated the Ayia Napa Fame Square. Singers, Djs, Artists, Politicians are inducted to this square.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Ayia Napa is twinned with:

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

Proposals of Yiannis Karousos - Guinness Records for Ayia Napa

External links[edit]