Quick access:

Go directly to content (Alt 1)Go directly to second-level navigation (Alt 3)Go directly to first-level navigation (Alt 2)

60 Years Treffpunkt Goethe

The Goethe-Institut Nicosia was founded in 1961 and is one of the oldest foreign institutes in the world. This year it celebrates its 60th anniversary.
 

Logo 60 Jahre Goethe-Institut Zypern

Director's Greeting

This year it celebrates its 60th anniversary, 60 years that have been shaped by the varied history of Germany and Cyprus. The accommodation of the Goethe-Institut in the Green Line next to the former Ledra Palace Hotel, which has passed through Nicosia since 1963 and separates the Greek and Turkish Cypriot population, has remained constant since 1963. This special place, a listed villa in an idyllic garden with a fish pond and cats in the no man's land between ruins and checkpoints, this oasis between the northern and southern parts of the island has been our place of work for 58 years and has shaped the activities of the institute.

The location was an opportunity and an obligation, limitation and freedom at the same time. The Goethe-Institut was an important cultural venue and meeting place for people from all over the country not only before the division of the island in 1974, but also after the checkpoints opened in 2003 and the whole of Cyprus joined the EU in 2004. Here in the Green Line it was always about using the space so that people from both population groups can create and experience culture together.

Many people have visited, accompanied, supported and shaped the Goethe-Institut during these years. Christoforos Savva, one of the most internationally renowned artists in Cyprus, showed his last exhibition here. Cypriot designers still remember the exhibition of jewellery designers from Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the institute in 2011. As part of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, numerous architects and architecture students from all over Cyprus came to talk to Fivos Polydorides about his work. The then 93-year-old architect had studied with Bauhaus students himself.

These are just a few examples from the institute's 60-year history. We have asked our friends, artists, partners, students and staff to tell their stories. In the category 60 years - Memories they describe their impressions and memories of the Goethe-Institut in Nicosia. We would like to thank everyone who has agreed to do so and who has shared their memories with us. But our thanks also go to those who can no longer share their memories or for other reasons cannot have their say at this point. Without the people and the exchange with them, our work would be nothing; it is only together with them that everything has meaning and value.

At this point I would like to mention two people, in particular, without whose commitment the institute would not be what it is today. Ute Wörmann continued to run the institute as an independent Goethe Center through the difficult period of its closure, and hardly anyone noticed that it was not a Goethe-Institut during this time. Klaus Dieter Lehmann, the former president of the Goethe-Institut, successfully campaigned for the reopening of the institute in 2011.

The Goethe-Institut is in the Green Line together with the UN, the Home for Cooperation and the Fulbright Foundation in a place where it can be reached by all people all over Cyprus. This enables it to successfully fulfil its mission to conduct a cultural dialogue and bring people together.

For the future, my wish for the institute is that it can continue to work successfully in Cyprus for another 60 years, overcoming cultural boundaries and bringing people together. The growing and lively cultural scene is great and gives hope, and many people are still interested in learning German.

Karin Varga
Institute Director

In the last 60 years the Goethe-Institut has collaborated with many people. This cooperation was a rich experience expressed in many unique events. We would like to expressly thank all those who were our guests, who supported us, who cooperated with us. We ask you for your understanding that we could not name everyone due to the limited space.


60 Years Memories

Many people have visited, accompanied, supported and shaped the Goethe-Institut during these years. We have asked our friends, artists, partners, students and staff to tell their stories. In the category 60 Years – Memories their impressions and memories of the Goethe-Institut in Nicosia will be presented throughout the year. We would like to thank everyone who has agreed to do so and who will share their memories with us.


A look back through photographs

  • A man and a woman wearing elegant clothes stand with their backs to the camera and look at the artworks hanging on the white wall. There are two more works of art on the wooden floor. On the right side, the white door to the adjoining room is open. Photo: Goethe-Institut Cyprus, Andreas Loucaides
    Opening of the exhibition KunstRaumGoethe, February 2020
  • The German ambassador is seen in a group with three men, with other visitors to the Brecht exhibition in the background. The men are wearing elegant suits, to the left is the guest of honour Archbishop and President of the Republic of Cyprus Makarios. The men are standing among the exhibits. In the foreground is an exhibit showing a frightened man. Below these pictures is a shelf with Brecht's literary works. Photo: PIO – Press and Information Office
    Opening speech by the German ambassador at the Brecht exhibition on 1 December 1969.
  • Five men in suits discuss an abstract artwork at the Nikos Kouroussis exhibition in 1971, which hangs on a wooden wall to the right of the painting. In the background, other pictures can be seen, which are also hanging on the wall. There are also other visitors standing there. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Opening of the exhibition by Nikos Kouroussis, 1971
  • The painting shows a section of a room with many people and artistic materials. In the foreground on the right is a table with various paints and papers, with rolls for large papers underneath. Behind the table are many people with their backs to the camera. On the floor in front of the table lies a blond girl who is apparently painting something there. From the right, another blond girl with a checked skirt and white top walks into the picture. To the left of the table, people are standing and sitting who are also engaged in art and are not looking at the camera. In the background is a stage and a light stage curtain that is open. To the left of the curtain are bookshelves. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Painting class led by Glyn Hughes in January 1978.
  • Eight men in suits look at the camera with a serious expression, while only one of the men laughs. Four of the men have a glass in their hands. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    The first meeting of the cultural associations after 1974 at the Ledra Palace Hotel. The meeting was organised in 1982 by the then director of the Goethe-Institut, Dr. Blümlein. Among those pictured is also former Goethe-Institut teacher, Johannes Patsalides (second man from right).
  • A whole orchestra stands on a lit stage, facing the camera towards the audience. The back and foreground are completely black. Another spotlight is directed at the conductor in the centre of the stage. The men and women are all standing and wearing black and white evening dress, they are uniformly dressed. Photo: Goethe-Zentrum Nicosia
    The Goethe-Zentrum, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Music Department of the Goethe-Institut, initiates a concert by the Youth State Orchestra of Cyprus and the Mannheim Youth Symphony Orchestra, 2004.
  • Eight men in suits look at the camera with a serious expression, while only one of the men laughs. Four of the men have a glass in their hands. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Concert by "Pünktchen Pünktchen" in the hall of the Goethe-Institut, 1991
  • The hall in the Goethe-Institut without exhibits. In focus is the closed curtain of the stage. Windows can be seen on the left and right, on the floor is a pattern with light coloured squares and black borders. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Hall of the Goethe-Institut, mid-1960s
  • The photograph shows a larger section of the area around the Goethe-Institut building site. In the background you can see mountains and trees and the Ledra Palace Hotel. The Goethe-Institut building can be seen on the right. The construction site is surrounded by scaffolding, trees and a wall. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    The main building of the Goethe-Institut and the construction process of the hall, mid-1960s.
  • Two women are in a room, to their left is a closed window. On the right is a bookshelf, above which hangs a painted portrait of Goethe. In front of the portrait is a table with a chair on the left. A woman is sitting on it, wearing a dress and a headdress and is leafing through a folder. Another woman stands to her left and looks into the folder. Behind her is another bookcase. On the left is a desk on which office materials are placed. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Female employees in the office of the Goethe-Institut, 1960s.
  • The picture shows a section of the foyer of the Goethe-Institut. On the left of the picture hangs a large map. In front of it is a shelf with books and brochures, and there are also information boards about German cities on the shelf. On the wall to the right are posters and a rack with newspapers. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Exhibition on German cities in the foyer of the Goethe-Institut.
  • The Goethe-Institut building under a bright blue sky. The wall of the house is white with a sandstone border at the corners. The shutters are dark green. A flowering bush with purple blossoms can be seen at the left edge of the picture. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    The main building of the Goethe-Institut, probably mid-1960s.
  • A man in a suit stands in front of a wall of posters in a classroom. On the right side of the picture is a white door. The man and his audience are looking at the blackboard. On the blackboard is written a German saying: "Drink what is clear, eat what is cooked, speak what is true!" Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Teacher training at the Goethe-Institut
  • On the left side there are four pinboards on which four works of art are hanging. Behind the pinboards hang yellow curtains. On the right side, four more artworks hang on the wooden wall. On a red-beige carpet in the foreground and in the middle of the room, a table and four black armchairs are placed, on the table flowers are arranged decoratively. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Exhibition by Christoforos Savva at the Goethe-Institut, May 1968.
  • On the walls of a hall are three exhibition boxes with objects placed on a kind of small staircase. In the background there is a curtain in front of which two of the boxes are placed. The left box is striped and the two next to it are in a dark colour. The floor is carpeted and there is a small table in the middle of the room. On it is a glass case with three shelves on which other objects lie. There are books on the table and two angels on the left and right of the box. The objects in the exhibition boxes look Christmasy, as the exhibition was about Christmas markets in Germany. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Exhibition on Christmas markets in Germany in the hall of the Goethe-Institut, March 1968.
  • A table has been set up in front of a bookshelf for the Karlsruhe-Nicosia town-twinning. On the table are various books on the subject. Above it hangs a poster on which a connection between Karlsruhe and Nicosia as well as Germany and Cyprus is illustrated by arrows. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Town-twinning of Karlsruhe-Nicosia
  • The picture shows a large book wall of the Grimms Fairy Tales exhibition, in front of which are two white metal grids on the left and right and a table in the middle. On the grids and on the table are various fairy tale books, on the grid also hang posters with further information about the authors and their works. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Exhibition of the Grimms' fairy tales at the Goethe-Institut, 1973
  • The picture shows the event hall of the institute under construction. The unfinished building is surrounded by ladders and scaffolding. A man is standing on the roof, other workers are at the bottom of the building and only their backs can be seen. At the edge of the picture are plants and trees framing the image. On the right side behind the construction site, the building of the Goethe-Institut can be seen. On the left side, part of the Ledra Palace Hotel is visible. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    The main building of the Goethe-Institut and the construction process of the hall, mid-1960s.
  • Christoforos Savva stands with his back to two abstract paintings in his exhibition. He is wearing suit trousers, a shirt and black shoes, his arms are folded. His hair is dark and he has a full beard. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Exhibition by Christoforos Savva at the Goethe-Institut, May 1968. The picture shows the artist.
  • Three women and a man are standing together laughing and looking to the left. The woman on the left is wearing a peaked cap, a dark blue lettered hoodie and holding a red drink. The second woman from the left is wearing black clothes and a long necklace, in front of her is a bouquet of yellow flowers. The second woman from the right has blond hair and fringes, her dress is dark blue. She is holding a red drink with both hands. On the right is a man wearing a leather jacket. A shoulder in a white top can be seen in the front right. Individual people can be seen in the background looking at artworks in the exhibition. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Visitors at the screening of the documentary "Together Apart" by Maren Wickwire.
  • Many people are sitting at a large, set table, looking at the camera. On the left side is a full bookshelf. People are sitting in front of a wall that illustrates different layers of colour and history of the building. On the wall hangs a square, dark painting with white, red and yellow elements. Photo: Goethe-Institut
    Workshop of the international artist* community "Moving Poets", 2019, having lunch at Rüstem Café in the north part of Nicosia.
  • The black and white picture shows the audience at an orchestra concert on 14 February 1969 at the Nicosia School for the Blind. The visitors wear elegant evening attire, women wear dresses and have their hair up. The audience is seated in diagonal rows facing the stage. The first row is empty and shows a white row of chairs. Photo: PIO – Press and Information Office
    The audience at the PRO-ARTE Orchestra concert at the School for the Blind in Nicosia on 14 February 1969.
  • Individual visitors and groups of visitors look at works in the exhibition and talk. The attire is elegant evening dress; there are both children and adults of all ages. Photo: PIO – Press and Information Office
    Opening of the exhibition "Children's Drawings of the Odyssey" on 15 October 1969.
  • The artist Horst Weierstall presents an abstract installation to an audience. His gaze is fixed on the object in his hands, he is wearing an elegant black suit with brown suit trousers. The six spectators are standing in front of a turquoise door and a window with a turquoise frame; they are looking at the artist intently. Photo: Goethe-Zentrum Nicosia
    Exhibition of the artist Horst Weierstall, 2002. Irini Hadjikipri (left), former staff member and Ute Wörmann-Stylianou (right), former director of the Goethe-Zentrum.
  • At the event "Meeting Point Green Line" on 4 May shortly after the opening of the checkpoint at Ledra Palace, Emir Gül plays the saz. He wears a white shirt, light grey trousers and sits at a table with a few men and women. On the table are alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine, and in the background on the wall is a shelf with flyers. Photo: Goethe-Zentrum Nicosia
    "Meeting Point Green Line" at the Goethe-Zentrum, 2004

60 years - 60 words

Sort (typesetting)Photo: pixabay.com (CC0 1.0)

In sixty years, not only does the face of a country change, but also the language. New words become necessary to denote new facts and conditions. The fall of the Berlin Wall, ecology, digitization, but also new political constellations such as coalitions had to be named. Come with us on a journey through 60 years, explore the wealth of words and forbidden words of the year and expand your vocabulary at the same time!

Top