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Autumn Excursion – Nicosia the Capital

September 26, 2019

1st choice for Autumn Excursion – Nicosia the Capital

 

Nicosia may be a buzzing modern capital, but there’s no end to the historic tales told by ancient sites and buildings. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

 

6. Ledras & Onasagorou street, Laiki Gitonia

Pedestrian-only Ledra and Onasagorou streets, are lined with shops of every type. These streets lead to the most lively part of the old city with narrow streets, boutiques, and cafés.

Laiki Geitonia is a traditional neighbourhood inside the city walls. Houses have been restored to remind the traditional, old Nicosia. It is a pedestrianised area with buildings date from the 18the century and a combination of residential houses, art shops and tavernas.

You can add, to a full day excursion, Kykkos monastery so you can combine, the capital, mountains and heritage at once.

7. Kykkos Monastery

Located in the mountainous region of Marathasa Valley, the Monastery of Kykkos is the wealthiest and most lavish on the island, and stands on a mountain peak, at an altitude of 1.318 metres.

Dedicated to Panagia (the Virgin Mary), the monastery possesses one of three icons attributed to Agios Loukas (Apostle Luke) the Evangelist. The icon - covered in silver gilt - is in a shrine made of tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl that stands in front of the iconostasis.

Today, the monastery produces Zivania spirit and other alcoholic drinks, and holds religious fairs on September 8th (Birth of the Virgin) and August 15th (Dormition of the Virgin). There is also a museum on the grounds, whilst it is noteworthy for being the monastery that the first President of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III served at as a novice.


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