Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Nicosia, Cyprus
Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus,, the only large town in the interior of the island, grew up in the seventh century A.D. on the theater of ancient Ledra.
The Venetians took control of Nicosia in 1489 and built up the city walls, which are a central part of the character of the city. Despite their massive construction, the walls proved of little use when the Turks made their attack. The city fell after only six weeks, in a bloodbath in which 20,000 people died.
Under the Turks the city declined and in 1764 riots led to the death of the Turkish governor. The bloody history continued and in 1821, 200 Christians were killed by a particularly ferocious governor, Kuchuk Mehmed.
The town was the seat of the British governor from 1878 and many of the administrative buildings date from that colonial period.
The city had long had Greek and Turkish sectors and in the wake of independence was one of the key places where tension between the two communities led to violence.
In 1964 fighting broke out between Greeks and Turks and the city was informally divided by the United Nations. In 1974, when the Turks invaded the island, the city was divided along the so-called green line. This means that Greeks and Turks cannot pass from one side of the city to the other.
The city is the only one in Europe to remain divided by war.
Cyprus International Conference Center
Kaimakli is one of the oldest suburbs of Nicosia, and is worth visiting. Tourists can walk around the old neighborhoods, which date back to the beginning of the century.