Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus,
a status it has enjoyed for 1000 years since the 10th century, though its beginnings date back 5000 years to the
Bronze Age. It lies roughly in the centre of the island in the Mesaoria Plain, flanked by the beautiful
northern range of Kyrenia mountains with its distinctive 'Pentadaktylos" - the five finger mountain. There are
various suggestions as to the origin of the name Nicosia - or 'Lefkosia' in Greek - but the most likely one is
linked to the popular tree, the tall 'Lefki ' which once adorned the city.
Seat of Government,
Diplomatic headquarters and cultural centre of Cyprus, the capital presents two distinct faces: the old,
original part of the city, surrounded by sturdy Venetian walls over 400 years old, and a busy modern metropolis
which has a population of 171,000 together with the suburbs. . .
Within the large area encircled by
the strong bastion walls that served to protect the town for centuries are many places of great historic
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 of Interest in
Nicosia-Anthoupolis Road, 10 minutes drive from Nicosia.
The church dates back to the Byzantine period, with
rebuilding carried out in 1636 and in 1713 when it was purchased by Kykko Monastery. Founded by Archbishop
Nikiforos whose tomb can be seen in the narthex of the church. The iconostasis dates to 1650 and there is a 1785
fresco of the Archangel Michael to whom the monastery is dedicated.
27 km from Nicosia on the Nicosia-Troodos road .
dedicated to Saints Barnabas and Hilarion, was probably erected in the early 10th century, and is an outstanding
example of Byzantine architecture. Next to the church stands the Turkish mosque of Peristerona, witness to the
long and peaceful co-existence between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots of the village, and the whole of
Cyprus. in a time when Turkey had not yet adopted its partitionist and expansionist policy.