Welcome to our photo album of Cyprus.
Nicosia - Built in the twelfth centuary, Nicosia is in the centre of
Cyprus. It is the capital city which although divded since 1974 has a
lot to offer the visitor.
The Famagusta Gate was once the main entrance to the city.Today it is used as a cultural centre with music and dance performances, various exhibitions as well as other cultural events.
A typical example of old Cypriot urban architeture is the Laiki Yitonia area of the city.This has been restored to its original 1920s look housing souvenir shops, small cafes and taverns.
The Archibishops Palace is the centre of the Greek Orthodox church and
also houses the Byzantine musem.
Nicosia Cyprus’s capital is a unique capital of the world. It is a town in the centre of the island which no sea breeze or mountain range comes close to. The only breeze that comes in is that of the Mesaoria (Mesaraya) Plain at the heart of the island. To the world in general, the town is known as Nicosia whereas the Greek Cypriots call it is Lefkosia and the Turkish Cypriots Lefkosa. The city is distinct due to the fact that it remains captured in a 35-year time-warp, divided into two parts with the Greek Cypriots on the one side and the Turkish Cypriots on the other, separated by barricades, barbed wire and posts. Nicosia is the only divided European capital. The Green Line is the buffer-zone that is patrolled by the United Nations and divides the two sides distinctively. The two parts of the town look as if they are two totally different worlds.
The Greek Cypriot segment is an effervescent area that surrounds the old Ottoman centre. With a booming economy supporting the Greek Cypriot half of the capital, it has managed to flourish and grow promptly. It has turned small villages into suburbs and become a vibrant modern city.
On the other hand, the old city which lies in the Venetian Walls is a bright collection of small coffee shops, dining areas, workshops and markets that take place occasionally in the streets. The workshops as well as the Green Line, create a rather unusual but extremely popular attraction for thousands of tourists annually.
A few parts of the inner city are slowly collapsing, some are almost about to fall down and other are being renovate. As far as the Laiki Geitonia (“Popular District”) is concerned, a fascinating area has been formed with many taverns and gift shops inhabiting it.
On the other side of the island, on the Turkish Cypriot side, things have the tendency to move along much slower. Traffic and construction development is also minimized compared to the other side. Some things though, still stay the same on this side, no matter how many problems the division has caused and that is: that the heat in the summer months is equally intense, hospitality is as friendly as the other side, and the workshops beside the Green Line agitate out the same profusion of mystifying gadgets.
There are numerous monuments that can be visited on the Greek Cypriot side. Some of the most significant ones are the following:
Agia Faneromeni (Church of St Faneromeni): The church is located on Faneromenis street. In 1821, the Ottoman governor of Cyprus ordered a number of executions to take place with the excuse that these people were initiating rebellion. The men that paid the high price of loosing their lives due to the above were the ethnarch of the Cypriot Church, Archbishop Kyprianos, along with other bishops, who are buried under this 19th century church near the Green Line. The tiny Arablar Mosque is situated in close distance from the Church of St. Faneromeni.
Agios Ioannis (St John’s Cathedral): The cathedral is located on Plateia Archiepiskopou Kyprianou. In comparison to the great European cathedrals, this Orthodox cathedral is extremely tiny. It was completed in 1662 on the ruins of the Lusignan-era Benedictine abbey church of St John the Evangelist, which had been snacked by invading Mamelukes in 1426. With the cathedral been situated beside the Archbishop’s Palace, Agios Ioannis, has become the church of the state, where all the official government representatives, gather, with an elaborate throne for His Beatitude and special seats for Their Excellencies, the president of the republic and the ambassador of Greece. Scenes from the Christian history of Cyprus cover the ceiling and walls through the early 18th century murals that are there. Scenes contain those of the evangelising mission of St Paul and St Barnabas in AD 45. The podium has the double-headed eagle, the symbol of Byzantium situated on it.
Agios Trypiotis (Church of St Michael Trypiotis). The church is located on Solonos street. This church used to be the top people’s church in Nicosia. The church’s concrete 17th century size is faded by some Byzantine touches of earlier times, such as the engraved lintels on some doorways. It is quite difficult to get inside this church as it is regularly locked.
Archbishop’s Palace. The Palace is located on Plateia Archiepiskopou Kyprianou. The Palace has officially been described as neo-Byzantine, it looks very neo-Venetian. The humble apartments of its first inhabitant, the first President of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios, is opened every so often to people to visit on organised tours. A large silver statue of the Archbishop Makarios, decorates the outside area of the Palace.
Bayraktar Mosque. The mosque is situated on the Constanza bastion of the Venetian walls. The Standard Bearer’s Mosque is at the point of the Constanza where a Turkish soldier planted the colours of the Ottomans on the Venetian Walls during the last attack of the 1570 siege. The soldier was shot at the spot and his remains can be found in the mosque which was built in his honour. The mosque used to be surrounded by gardens which now have been placed by a bus station. Most of the time, the mosque is not open to the public.
Byzantine Museum. The museum is located at the Plateia Archiepiskopou Makariou. The Byzantine Museum and art gallery, which is a part of the Archbishop’s Palace, has the greatest collection of extraordinary icons in Cyprus. A part of the collection features valuable items that were taken away in 1974 and recaptured by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the black market and at legitimate sales of art. On other floors of the museum and art gallery, magnificent paintings can be found. Photography at the Byzantine Museum is strongly prohibited.