Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Leventis Art Gallery

The Leventis Art Gallery (also known as the A.G. Leventis Gallery) is located in the city of Nicosia, within the Nicosia district of Cyprus.

This art gallery houses over 800 works of art, particularly Western European, Greek, and Cypriot artworks, and it's considered the largest private collection of European Art in Cyprus.

The Leventis Art Gallery is fairly new to Cyprus, since it opened to the public in March 2014.  The gallery is dedicated to Anastasios G. Leventis (1902-1978), due to his desire to have a public gallery in Cyprus in order to share his private art collection.

This gallery is divided into four main sections, which include the Cyprus Collection, Paris Collection, Greek Collection, and Temporary Exhibition Hall.

On the ground floor, the Cyprus Collection features more modern works of art by Cypriots, specifically from 1900 until 1960.  Some of these artists are Victor Ioannides, Telemachos Kanthos, etc.

According to a sign at the gallery, "The A.G. Leventis Foundation began to collect Cypriot art only very recently.  This Collection focuses on the works of the first generation of Cypriot artists, as well as some pieces by artists of the second generation who followed a related stylistic approach and explored similar themes as their predecessors....  The artworks in the Collection date from the early 20th century onwards and capture the first essential steps of Cypriot modern art."

Also on the ground floor, the Temporary Exhibition Hall currently hosts the Representations and Interpretation: The Pioneers of Cypriot Art, from May 17, 2014 until October 6, 2014.


On the first floor, the Paris Collection displays artworks from the 17th to 20th centuries, particularly Western European paintings.  Some of the featured artists in the Paris Collection include El Greco, Rococo, Boucher, Fragonard, Boudin, Monet, Renoir, Chagall, etc.  Claude Monet's oil on canvas is titled The Seine at Jeufosse near Vernon from 1884.

According to a sign at the gallery, "Anastasios G. Leventis acquired in the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s what is today the Foundation's Collection of European Art.  Named 'the Paris Collection' after the Parisian apartment where it was housed for well over half a century....  The first gallery is dedicated to the Old Masters and academic art....  Evoking the unique ambiance of the collector's home, the presentation includes a wood-panelled room - transported from the apartment and re-erected in the Gallery space - as well as a wealth of period furniture and objets d'art, which form an integral part of the [Paris] Collection."

According to another sign, "The second gallery of the Paris Collection illustrates the journey from Impressionism to the early days of Modernism."

On the second floor, the Greek Collection includes over 260 oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints by 19th and 20th century Greek artists.   Some of the artists include Spyridon Scarvelli, Bassos Germenis, Theodoros Vryzakis, Nikolaos Gyzis, Georgios Iakovidis, Nikolaos Xydias,Theodoros Rallis, Pericles Pantazis, Konstantinos Volanakis, Ioannis Altamouras, etc.

According to a sign at the gallery, "The early core of the [Greek] Collection was formed of the artworks--oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints--acquired by Anastasios G. Leventis in 1973 from Evangelos Averoff-Tossizza....  Following the acquistions made in the 1990s and 2000s, the Greek Collection today numbers upwards of 260 works...." 

Throughout the Greek and Paris Collections, there are hidden artworks displayed behind panels (due to the need for minimal light exposure) that are accessible by pressing nearby buttons.

And it's considered a modern art gallery with interactive informational screens on display throughout the artworks, as well as audiovisual resources available. 

On the premises, there's a café and restaurant, as well as a souvenir shop, on the ground floor.

The Leventis Art Gallery has an official video posted on YouTube, which is included below.

The Leventis Art Gallery is highly recommended for all ages, particularly locals, since art galleries are fairly unique for the island of Cyprus.

Site: Leventis Art Gallery. 

Category: Museum. 

Location: Leonidou Street in the city of Nicosia, within the Nicosia district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 22668838 and 22667277. 

Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM on Wednesday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Thursday to Monday, and closed on Tuesday.

Entrance Fee: €2,00. 

Date of Visit: 2014.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dasoudi Beach

Dasoudi Beach is located in the tourist area of the city of Limassol, within the Limassol district of Cyprus.

With a mostly sandy beach and fairly calm waters, it's a popular beach for tourists and locals.  And it's considered a Blue Flag beach.

This beach features several cafes and restaurants, outdoor showers and changing rooms, walking pathway, playground, sand volleyball nets, and water-sport rentals, as well as the option to rent sunbeds and beach umbrellas.

The Dasoudi Beach is an enjoyable area to spend a day at the beach for tourists and locals, yet it's often quite busy, due to the convenient location and extensive amenities.

Site: Dasoudi Beach. 

Category: Nature and Activity. 

Location: Tourist area in the city of Limassol, within the Limassol district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: N/A. 

Operating Hours: Daylight hours. 

Entrance Fee: Free, yet rental fees of €2,50 per sunbed and beach umbrella. 

Date of Visit: 2008 to 2014.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Zenobia Cruise

The Zenobia Shipwreck is situated in the Mediterranean Sea in Larnaca Bay about 1.4 km off the coastline of the city of Larnaca, which is within the Larnaca district of Cyprus.

Zenobia was a Swedish ferry that sank during its maiden voyage in June 1980.  All 140 passengers abroad were safely evacuated from the ship.  However, there were 108 lorries on-board that remained with the shipwreck.  Zenobia is a 10,000 ton ferry that's 178 meters in length and 16 meters in depth to the top of the wreck, while 43 meters in depth to the sea floor.

Today, Zenobia is considered one of the top ten wreck dive sites in the world, and it has become a protected artificial reef.

Zenobia Week, which was from June 23 until June 30, focused on promoting the Zenobia shipwreck as a prominent diver's destination.

According to a Zenobia Week handout, there are "ten reasons why Zenobia is ranked as the best wreck diving site in the world," as listed below:
  1. Zenobia sank on its maiden voyage, and that's why it's characterized as 'The Titanic of the Mediterranean.'
  2. It's considered massive in size with 174 meters in length, 28 meters in width, and 21 meters in height, making it the largest wreck in the Mediterranean.
  3. Zenobia carried 108 lorries with all their cargo, including cars, military equipment, games, food, and telecommunications systems, which are all still under the sea for divers to explore.
  4. One of the lorries was carrying one million eggs, most of which remain intact at the bottom of the sea, even after 34 years.
  5. Zenobia has turned into a reef with hundreds of fish species, such as giant tune, local barracuda, king-fish, jacks, trigger fish, moray-eels, stingrays, turtles, and octopuses, etc.
  6. The shipwreck has enriched the biodiversity of the sea and the divers can enjoy corals, sea anemones, and other sea microorganisms.
  7. The waters in Larnaca's seas are considered warm.  In the summer, water temperatures typically reach 25 degrees Celsius, while in the winter, it's usually a minimum of 16 degrees Celsius.
  8. The sea in Larnaca Bay is considered safe.
  9. Zenobia is easily accessible, since it's only ten minutes by boat from the Larnaca Marina.
  10. There's considered to be exceptional visibility around the wreck, which reaches up to 50 meters.
The Zenobia Week handout continues to share that "Zenobia might be the best and largest, but it's not the only wreck in Larnaca.  There are five more wrecks in Larnaca Bay, including a British helicopter."

Zenobia Cruises were one aspect of Zenobia Week geared towards non-divers.  These free 45-minute cruises were offered twice daily from the Larnaca Marina to the Zenobia Shipwreck with glass bottom boats.

The term "glass bottom boats" is slightly deceptive, which is portrayed in the accompanying photos for an accurate depiction.  However, it's still a worthwhile trip for non-divers, especially for those interested in a brief, yet lovely, sea cruise in the Larnaca area.  Simply be aware that the Zenobia Shipwreck might not be visible from the boat, even through the small glass windows at the bottom of the boat.

Zenobia Cruises are quite enjoyable for both locals and tourists.

Site: Zenobia Cruise and Zenobia Shipwreck. 

Category: Activity and Nature. 

Location: Larnaca Bay and 1.4 km from the city of Larnaca, within the Larnaca district of Cyprus.

Phone Number: 24657071 and 24656949. 

Operating Hours: N/A. 

Entrance Fee: Free during Zenobia Week, yet prices tend to vary. 

Date of Visit: 2014.