The schooling is free and compulsory for nine years for children aged 6-15. Six-year high school, of which three years is compulsory, is also free. There are two national and several private universities in Cyprus.
Cyprus has a number of ancient monuments. Several churches are from Byzantine times, and there are a number of examples of Islamic architecture, French Gothic architecture and Italian Renaissance culture.
Some well-known modern painters are Vassilis Vryonides (1882–1958), Adamantios Diamantis (1900–1954) and Telemachos Kanthos (1910–1993).
Traditional folk music features elements from Greek, Turkish and Arabic music. Key instruments are bouzouki, violin, lute, flute and accordion. Well-known composers are Evagoras Karageorgis (born 1957), Marios Tokas (1954–2008) and Savvas Salides. In popular music, hip hop, reggae and rock are widespread genres.
In ancient and medieval times, epic poetry flourished. Vasilis Michaelides (1849–1917) is considered the national poet. Modern literature includes the poet and novelist Kostas Montis (1914–2004) and Nicos Nicolaides, among others.
Remains of a Roman theater in Paphos . Cyprus was part of the Roman Empire from 58 BCE.
The internationally best known film director is Michael Cacoyannis (1921–2011).
Typical Cypriot food is seafood and fish dishes, salads, fruits, meat dishes and desserts. Popular sports include football, basket ball, tennis and car rally.
Music in Cyprus
The folk music tradition and the secular as well as the religious music scene reflect the cultural distinction between the Greek and Turkish people. See Greece (music) and Turkey (music).
From the 16th century there is preserved one of the largest and most representative collections of European medieval music, which testifies that Cypriot music culture at this time received strong impetus from France. The manuscripts include unanimous (Gregorian) and polyphonic church music, motets, ballads, roundabouts and viral songs.