Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus, located on the central Mesaoria Plain of the island. To the north of Nicosia are the Kyrenia mountains, with the unmistakable ‘Pentadaktylos’ (the five-fingered peak). Nicosia is often
ignored when visiting Cyprus because it is not on the beach, however it is well worth a visit when on your holidays in Cyprus as it is only a half hour drive from Larnaca and within easy reach of the Troodos mountains.
Nicosia, the cultural centre of Cyprus, consists of ‘the old town’, surrounded by thick Venetian walls over 400 years old, and the modern city.
Eleftheria Square in the city centre links the ancient walled city with the modern city outside, where offices, hotels, restaurants and gardens mix with the elegant old colonial buildings.
Because the restaurants in Nicosia cater for the home market, they are considered to be the best on the island.
Within the ‘old town walls’ there are many places of great historic interest.
The Cyprus Museum has a fascinating collection of Cypriot treasures from the Neolithic Age to the early Byzantine Period.
The Byzantine Museum and art galleries have a collection covering the period from the 9th to 18th century.
The Folk Art Museum has carved wooden objects, hand-woven textiles and pottery.
There are also many religious buildings, including Ayios Ioannis Cathedral, Chrysaliniotissa Church and Omeriyeh Mosque.
One of the most beautiful buildings in the old city is the house of Hadigeorgakis Kornesios (The House of the Dragoman), found near the Omeriye mosque. The Dragoman, beheaded in 1808, held a powerful position as he served as translator to the Turkish governor and liaised between the Ottoman authorities and the Orthodox Christians.
- Nicosia Travel Guide