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Nicosia, also known as Lefkosia, is a wondrous world of vibrant culture, perfectly located in the heart of The Island of Cyprus. The capital and largest city of Cyprus has so much to offer to visitors from all over the globe.
The city has a vast history dating back to the bronze age but it was only established as a capital during the Byzantine Empire period. The Byzantines chose to make Nicosia their seat of power because coastal towns were often raided, and from that point onwards, it has been the capital of this beautiful island.
The town grew into what it is today thanks to its strategic location on the island, making Nicosia one of the most important cities in Europe. The city is home to a diverse population of about 250,000 people. The town’s location on the island makes it a gateway into Cyprus and Nicosia offers Mediterranean hospitality at its finest!
Lefkosia is stunningly beautiful with its ancient walls that date back to the 12th century and were rebuilt in the 16th century by the Republic of Venice. The walls have been described as having a 16th-century military architecture and are considered to be prime examples of said style. These beautiful structures are now protected as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Nicosia has been occupied by many groups throughout the years and it is still considered as The Island of Cyprus’s most ethnically diverse city.
Nicosia was settled in around 1500 BC by Myceneans, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans. Nicosia became a part of the Roman Empire in 58BC when Cyprus was annexed to Rome. Nicosia served as an important cultural center during its 2000 year history which includes the Byzantine period (330-1190AD); Venetian rule 1190-1571AD); Ottoman Period (1571 ad–1878ad) and the British rule (1878 – 1960). The city has been ruined by conquest, fires, and earthquakes over its history.
Nicosia became the capital of Cyprus during the Byzantine Empire because of its location. Being away from the coast which was often raided, Nicosia’s location offered physical protection. It remained so until today.
As a result of the many conquerors who have passed through, the city of Nicosia and the surrounding area has an amazing diversity of historical monuments.
The city is now home to the Presidents of The Republic of Cyprus and The Greek Cypriot Administration. During the Turkish invasion in 1974, part of the city was captured by the Turkish troops, and the city was split into two parts, as a result of the war. Nicosia is now the last divided capital in Europe.
The town of Nicosia has always been a city of contrasts. The last decade, with the war in 1974 and Nicosia’s development outside of Venetian walls have only highlighted this dichotomy.
Nicosia today is a post-war city that is rebuilding and it consists of the largest and most ethnically diverse city on The Island of Cyprus. With its location along the Mediterranean in between Europe, Africa, and Asia, Nicosia boasts a wide variety of cultures. The city is home to many historic mosques, churches, and buildings that date back centuries. The Nicosia Municipality has been investing heavily in the town’s infrastructure by repairing streets, sidewalks, and parks making it a perfect place for tourists!
The people of Nicosia are welcoming making it easy for visitors to enjoy everything this wonderful island country offers! A look at this warmhearted community will show you an example of what living together peacefully means – with over 250 nationalities residing within its borders, everyone feels welcome here! The Cypriot hospitality is evident everywhere on The Island but nowhere so much as in Nicosia where every individual contributes their own unique story to the fabric that is modern-day life.
The city is now an oasis of culture and history, blending its 16th-century Venetian walls with museums, ancient churches, and medieval buildings. The heart of the city contains these attractions blended brilliantly in a modern setting for visitors to explore centuries-old architecture amidst today’s bustle.
Nicosia is the only divided capital city in the world. The UN Buffer Zone splits Nicosia into two halves. A no-man’s land divides Nicosia from North to South. In 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus which led to an occupation of the northern part of the island of Cyprus. As a result, buffer zones have been created between each side which is used to enforce peace agreements, with soldiers patrolling them day and night. Nicosians have grown accustomed to this new lifestyle where they can see their neighbors living on the other side through bulletproof glass or at a distance.
it wasn’t until recently that the barricades opened to allow people to cross to the other side. The ceasefire has been in place for almost 40 years, but The Cyprus Problem is still not resolved. Nevertheless, the Nicosian people are very resilient and are always open to meeting someone from the other side for coffee or lunch!
Nicosia, the capital city of The Island of Cyprus is a bustling, cosmopolitan metropolis with a rich history and culture.
The island’s largest city has plenty to offer to visitors, from its ancient walls and museums to its many restaurants and bars.
Whether you’re looking for hotels or apartments in Nicosia, we’ve got you covered. Book your stay now on booking.com!
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