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The 1000 Year Old Capital City In The Heart Of The Country

 

 


 

Lefkosia (Nicosia) lies roughly at the centre of the island, with a rich history that can be traced back to the Bronze Age. It only became Capital of the island in the 11th century AD. The Lousignians turned it into a magnificent city with a Royal Palace and over fifty churches.

 

 

Nicosia has one unfortunate distinction - it is now Europe's only militarily divided city. It is also a constant reminder of the tragedy and injustice which Cyprus suffered in 1974. In the summer of that year Turkish troops, using the pretext of a coup orchestrated by the Greek junta against the Cyprus Government, invaded and occupied over a third of the island. Despite the efforts of the United Nations and repeated condemnation by the international community, that occupation continues to this day.

 



Today it blends its historic past brilliantly with the bustle of a modern city. The heart of the city, enclosed by 16th century Venetian walls, is dotted with museums, ancient churches and Mediaeval buildings preserving the nostalgic atmosphere of years past. Yet this old heart is split in two, leaving Nicosia the only Capital city to remain divided by force.

 

The central Eleftheria Square links old Nicosia with the elegant modern city that has grown up outside the walls, where hotels, offices restaurants and gardens blend happily with the fine old houses and colonial buildings of this cosmopolitan city.

 

 

 

          

PLACES TO SEE - NICOSIA

 

CYPRUS MUSEUM
Priceless and fascinating collection of Cypriot antiquities and art treasures from the Neolithic Age to the early Byzantine Period.

 

Muscum Street

Tel: 357 - 22 - 302189

 


BYZANTINE MUSEUM AND ART GALLERIES
Largest collection of icons on the island, covering the period from 9th to 18th century. The Art Galleries contain oil paintings, maps, lithographs etc.


Arch. Makarios III Foundation, Cultural Centre, within the Archbishopric, Arch. Kyprianos Square

Tel: 357 - 22 -  456781

 


FOLK ART MUSEUM
Wide collection of Cypriot folk art of the 19th and early 20th century, including wood-carved objects, tapestry, embroidery, pottery, national costumes and hand-woven materials.


Within the Old Archbishopric, Arch. Kyprianos Square

Tel: 357 - 22 - 463205

 


NATIONAL STRUGGLE MUSEUM
Documents, photos and other memorabilia of the 1955-1959 National Liberation Struggle.

 

Near the Archbishopric, Arch. Kyprianos Square

Tel: 357 - 22 - 302465

 


HOUSE OF HADJIGEORGAKIS KORNESSIOS
Originally a Venetian Building. It is probably the most important 18th century building in Nicosia. It was once the house of the Dragoman Hadjigeorgakis Kornessios. The house is being restored and will house the Cyprus Ethnographic Museum. Hadjigeorgakis Kornessios house has won the Europa Nostra award in 1988.


Patriarch Gregoriou Street near the Archbishopric

 


AYIOS IOANNIS CATHEDRAL
Built by Archbishop Nikiforos in 1662, the recently restored 18th century wall paintings depict biblical scenes and the discovery of the tomb of Saint Barnabas at Salamis. Dedicated to Ayios loannis (Saint John).

Within the Archbishopric, Arch. Kyprianos Square

 


FAMAGUSTA GATE
The Venetian walls which completely encircle the old city have a circumference of 4.5 km and possess eleven heart-shaped bastions. There were only three entries to the city through gates, in the north, south and east. One of these gates, the Porta Giuliana, called the Famagusta Gate has been restored and is now the Nicosia Municipal Cultural Centre. The large imposing gate itself leads into a long passage with a central cupola, which cuts through the walls and comes out in the moat. On both sides are high, stonewalled guard-rooms. The restored passage and rooms arc used for exhibitions, conferences, Iectures and various performances. The old quarter of the town, close to the Famagusta Gate, is also beinr restored.

 

Nikiforos Phokas Avenue

Tel: 357 - 22 - 430877

 


PHANEROMENI CHURCH
Built in I872 this used to be the largest church in Nicosia. The marble mausoleum to the east of the church contains the relics of he bishops and priests executed by the Turks in 1821.


Onassagoras street, within the old city.

 


OMERIYEH MOSQUE
Near the Old Municipal Market within the walled city.

Converted into a mosque in 1571 by Mustapha Pasha, who believed that the original 14th century Augustinian church of St. Mary's, was built on the spot where prophet Omer rested when visiting Nicosia. Most of the original building was destroyed by Ottoman artillery. Engraved tombstones of the Lusignan period were used to re-floor the mosque. Remains of late Venetian building can be seen near the east end of the mosque.

 

Laiki Geitonia
East of Platea Eleftherias
CY- 1011 Nicosia, tel: 357 - 22 - 444264

 

 
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