Nicosia may be a buzzing modern capital, but there’s no end to the historic tales told by ancient sites and buildings. Next time you’re meandering through city streets, be sure to stop off at some of these great spots loved by the My Cyprus Insider team, set to take you a journey back in time.
1. Nicosia aqueduct
Once part of an old water supply system that carried water from the mountains into Nicosia, this stone built arched construction dates back to the 18th century, erected by the Ottomans. Supplying water to several fountains in the city, the 11 existing arches of the old aqueduct were only discovered after a demolition of a private building.
Opposite Liberty Monument, Nicosia.
2. Venetian Walls & Famagusta gate
The grandiose walls which surround the old town have a brilliant tale to tell. Built between 1567 and 1570 by the ruling Venetians, they worked hard to erect a circular fortified wall around the original city, complete with heart-shaped bastions. Have a look at what used to stand as the entrance points to the city by visiting Famagusta Gate in one of the nicest parts of the old town.
Athinas Street, Nicosia.
3. Liberty Monument
Just a few minutes away from Famagusta gate and opposite the old aqueduct, the Liberty Monument draws in crowds wishing to get a better idea of the island’s history. Erected in 1973 to honour EOKA fighters in the 1955- 1959 liberation struggle, the large monument is comprised of several statues symbolising liberty and freedom as two EOKA fighters pull to open a prison gate, allowing Cypriot prisoners, peasants, and clergy to escape British rule.
Podocattaro Bastion, Venetian Walls, Athinas St, Nicosia.
4. The Archbishop’s Palace
A religious, national and political monument, the new Archbishop’s Palace – a two-storey stone building in Neo – Byzantine style – houses the offices of the archdiocese and the residence of the archbishop. Built by Archbishop Makarios III between 1956 and 1960, it also houses the Byzantine Museum and the Library of the Archbishopric. Beside it is the Old Archbishop’s Palace; an 18th century two-storey building housing the Folk Art Museum and the National Struggle Museum.
Archbishop Kyprianou Square, Nicosia
5. Faneromeni Church
Built in 1872 within the old city walls, this imposing church presides over the surrounding square, while the area around it forms a hub of activity as young and old enjoy a nibble or drink at one of the many nearby cafes and eateries.
Faneromeni Square, (just off Ledra and Onasagorou Streets), Nicosia.