Bericht dr. Michael Paraskos

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I am writing to ask whether you would be interested in organsing a trip to Cyprus for your students studying medieval history. I believe Cyprus is an ideal place for a medieval history study trip. Not only was it at the heart of the Crusader State system during the Middle Ages, but many monuments from that period survive, including medieval gothic cathedrals, intact defensive city walls and castles, and some of the best examples of Byzantine and Crusader art anywhere in the world. But aspects of this period also survive in the living culture of Cyprus, in the food for example, and in the continuing legacy of the crusades in the divisions between Christians and Muslims on the island.

Cyprus is also the location of the annual academic conference Othello’s Island: The Annual Conference of Medieval and Renaissance Studies.  This conference takes place in the capital Nicosia every March. This international gathering of academics will be in its fourth year in 2016, and the conference has established itself as a small and friendly but influential event looking at medieval and renaissance art, culture, history and literature. It also has powerful backing, being a collaboration between academics form Sheffield Hallam University, SOAS University of London, University of Kent, University of Leeds and University of Sheffield. For more information, see

Another advantage of Cyprus for a student trip is the easy availablility of low cost air fares to Cyprus, particularly in the Spring months, with budget airlines such as EasyJet serving the island. Students accommodation in Nicosia is possible in the well regarded Nicosia Youth Hostel for just 15 euro per person per night (  Of course there are also hotels to suit all budgets.

For trips to see the medieval sites on both sides of the Green Line separating the Greek and Turkish communities of the island around 300 euro per day should be allowed for the hire of a large coach and driver.  If excursions into the Turkish side of the Green Line are made from the Greek side, around 100 euro shoudl also be budgeted to pay for the services of an accredited Turkish Cypriot guide who must accompany all group tours to the Turkish part of Cyprus. No such guide is needed on the Greek side. Possible excursions include to see the medieval city and cathedral of Famagusta; the mountain castles and abbeys of the Kyrenia mountain range; the medieval frescos of the painted churches in the Troodhos mountains; etc.

A possible trip could comprise attending the Othello’s Island Conference 17 to 20 March 2016, and then adding an extra one or two days either side of it to visit some of these medieval sites.

If this is of interest to you then please feel free to contact us at Othello’s Island and we will do our best to advise you on how to go about booking the individual elements and planning your trip.  To contact me please use my email address

With regards,

Dr Michael Paraskos FRSA
Lead Organiser Othello’s Island: The Annual Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies 2016 –