Almost all the history of Nicosia lies within its Venetian walls. It is very interesting how well the modern and the ancient are combined, creating an incredible scene that is well worth a visit.
So let's take a stroll around this amazing city.
The Venetian Walls are famous for their odd snowflake-like shape. They date back to 1567 when the circular defense wall was erected by the Venetian rulers to ward off the Ottoman invaders. The walls were specifically built in the Middle Age, but they were completely rebuilt in the 16th century.
The Venetian Walls have a circular shape, and they contain eleven pentagonal bastions. The eleven bastions took their names after eleven families that were the pillars of the Italian aristocracy. Bastions are spread all over Nicosia and can be found especially in the southern, eastern and north side of the city. The walls are in excellent condition, and local people still use them. Currently, they are being used to provide car-parking spots, venues for concerts as well as entertainment facilities.
The Cyprus Museum was founded in 1888 as a private institution to protect finds during the British rule of the island. The museum hosts one of the oldest collections that was ever found on the island. It consists of fourteen display halls, surrounding a square central area which hosts offices, a library, storerooms and laboratories for preserving and studying items of the collection.
Every hall is dedicated to a different excavation period. For example, in Hall 4, there is a presentation of "Agia Irini" discovery, while Hall 5 hosts the statue of Aphrodite of Soli. In Hall 6, you can find the enormous bronze statue of the Emperor Septimus Severus that was found in Kythrea in 1928. In Hall 7, you can find several mosaics of Palea Pafos, as well as various displays of objects that were excavated from tombs. A lot more are hidden in the rest of the halls, so don´t miss to visit this fantastic museum to find out yourself.
Famagusta Gate is located on the eastern part of Nicosia. Famagusta Gate is also known as "Porta Giuliana" in honor of Giulio Savorgano, who was the engineer that designed and erected the Venetian Walls. It is one of the largest and most beautiful out of the three gates of the Venetian Walls.
Famagusta Gate dates back to the 16th century, and it includes a vaulted passage through the earthwork rampart of the city, with a carefully executed spherical dome in its center. On either side of the passage, there are entrances into chambers that are now are closed. Also, the dome is lighted in the same way the Pantheon of Rome is.
It is amazing how well preserved this gate is and it is definitely worth a visit. Don't miss out on visiting Nicosia's most important sightseeing monuments. They guarantee an unforgettable experience while in the Cypriot capital. Ready for a stroll?
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