Facts about Cyprus

Area: 9,251 sq km
Capital: Nicosia
Language: Greek, Turkish
Currency: Euro
  Turkish Lira
Population: 784,301
Coastline: 648 sq km

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Nicosia (Turkish: Lefkosa, Greek: Lefkosia) is the capital of Cyprus.Nicosia is the center of administrative district, and currently the only divided capital in the world, with the northern Turkish and southern Greek portions divided by a "Green line"; a demilitarized zone maintained by the United Nations.

The name of the city dates back to approximately 2,250 years when it was known as Ledra or Ledrae. This name was changed soon to Lefkotheon but was also The name changed referred to as Ledron. once again in the Byzantine era to Lefkon which means "popular grove". The city served as a seat of the kings of Cyprus from 1192, it remained the capital of Cyprus since the 17th century, except for a brief period starting from 1489 when it was taken over by Venetians.


Cyprus was taken over by Turks in 1571 and Nicosia became Capital again. The city went through major development during the Venetian's rule as they built huge, thick ramparts around the city. . Nicosia (Lefkosia) was fortified with imposing stone walls and massive gates.The walls are three and half miles long and have eleven towers and three gates. The famous Famagusta Gate still stands today, proudly protecting the still-ancient town within from the modern city outside. During the Ottoman era the city saw prosperity which is still visible by Gothic architecture of Selimiye Mosque, the Bedestan, the Arab Ahmat Mosque, and the Great Han Inn to name a few.

The modern divided capital is the result of Turkish invasion, which resulted because of rebellion against the government of Cyprus. The present day capital of the island has a population of around 150,000 and it is divided into Turkish and Greek sectors by a boundary known as the `green line' which runs in an east-west direction.

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. There are many things to do in Nicosia.

The Cyprus museum is very popular with visistors. There is a priceless and fascinating collection of Cypriot antiquities and art treasures from the Neolithic Age to the early Byzantine Period.

Come down and visit the Cyprus Handicraft Center workshops, where traditional arts are practiced today much the same way they were in ages past. Relax and enjoy a superb Cypriot meal, accented by one of the island's famous wines. Later, the night life beckons near Famagusta Gate, giving face to the Cypriots' legendary spirit of celebration.

Nicosia Photo Gallery

Historical Places in South Nicosia

Historical Places in North Nicosia

Museums on North Nicosia

Museums in South Nicosia

Cyprus Map

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