The Byzantine Empire began at the end of the 4th century and included Russia, Bulgaria and Asia Minor. It lasted a thousand years and succeeded the old Eastern Roman Empire soon after Greece became Orthodox in its religion. Later, its demise was marked by the capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453. The empire left a rich legacy of beautiful religious art that can be found in churches and monasteries throughout Greece and the islands. Today visitors to Cyprus can enjoy the very distinct frescoes and marvel at the clarity of their colour despite their age.
Between 330 and 1191 AD, after the split of the Roman Empire, Cyprus came under the Eastern Roman Empire, known as Byzantium, with Constantinople as its capital. Byzantine art was a continuation of the ancient Greek heritage. What makes the Byzantine art of Cyprus so interesting are the church architecture, the beautiful coloring of church interiors and the remarkable development of exquisite mosaic work. Nine Byzantine churches in the Troodos mountains have been included in the official UNESCO world heritage list.
Those churches along with a number of monasteries nestling in lonely mountain valleys, the icon collections, the mosaics as well as the Byzantine museum of Nicosia make a Byzantine tour a great experience.