Visit Morphou which was founded by Spartans who brought with them the worship of Aphrodite. In the Middle Ages, the city was referred to as Morphou but also Theomorphou. The Morphou area grew more than half of Cyprus citrus fruits. In 16th and 17th centuries, during Ottoman period, Morphou was famous for its export of linen. During your guzelyurt tour you will visit St. Mamas Church, The Museum of Nature and Archaeology and The Blue House.
The church has been reconstructed at various times over the centuries. The original church built by the Byzantines. However, most of the buildings dating to the 18th century when the large central dome was added. The portals and columns of the nave survive from an earlier Gothic church built by the Lusignans.
Museum of Nature and Archaeology
The building was originaly the palace of the Bishop of Morphou is now the museum of nature and archaeology. It was opened as a museum in 1979 after restoration.
- The ground floor displays a collection of stuffed animals native to Cyprus. a motley collection of specimens that ranges from samples of the rocks that comprise the island of Cyprus, through to snakes and lizards preserved in formaldehyde, stuffed birds, and strange aberrations of nature, that includes a two headed lamb
- The upper floors of the museum houses the archaeology section with displays from the Neolithic and bronze ages. In the second and third rooms there is a display of finds from the Tumba Tou Skuru settlement.
- Outside, items from the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods are on exhibition.
The Blue House
Archbishop Makarios, he came from a respected family involved in the motor trade. He was the main agent for General Motors, Vauxhall and Opel, with offices in Famagusta, Larnaca, Paphos and Kyrenia. What is rumoured (but without any proof), is that he was an EOKA gun runner who built his house where he did in order to keep an eye out to sea for the arrival of his gun-running ships. There are also rumoured to be secret underground passages and chambers built to hide contraband and smuggled arms. He had earlier built the White House on the road to St Hilarion on the outskirts of Kyrenia, and he was there in 1963 when the persecution of the Turkish Cypriots was renewed. (The white House is now inside an army area and is used as an officer’s mess).
Having fled what became a Turkish Cypriot area to the Greek Cypriot area of Morphou (Guzelyurt), he built the Blue House in a similar style, but with a blue theme. There are blue tables and chairs, a blue bathroom and a blue sunken fountain in the sitting room, among other other blue-themed features.
Some facts about the house: This was built in 1957 by Byron Pavlides, a Greek Cypriot entrepreneur.