Nicosia, this beautiful city is not only the largest city, but a major business center and capital city of the island of Cyprus. This ancient capital (since the 12th century) is situated right at the heart of the European-island just over the banks of River Pedieos. One of the most fascinating facts to know about the city is that it is the only divided capital in the world, which is separated by the Green Line into northern and southern portions. Right from the antiquated streets in strategically refurbished old town area and from modern enterprises to immense scenic beauty as well as heritage monuments, makes this stunning city an enticing tourist destination. Whether going on a trip to Nicosia or planning one, read on to know more about the popular tourist attractions which you must pay a visit when you are here.
Cyprus Archaeological Museum
Displaying over thousands of archaeological relics and ancient remains, the Cyprus Archaeological Museum is the oldest as well as largest archaeological museum in the island of Cyprus. Popularly referred to as the Cyprus Museum, it was established in the year 1882. The museum has a number of separate halls and galleries, which displays many artifacts exhumed during numerous excavations carried out on the island. The first hall of this museum exhibits pottery and other artifacts from the Neolithic and Chalcolithic period, while other halls are fitted with items related to the Bronze Age, Mycenaean Period, Hellenic Period, Roman Period and Byzantine Age.
Located right at the heart of the Old City region of the city, St. John’s Cathedral is a notable tourist attraction. It was established during the year 1662 by Archbishop Nikiforos. Endowed with attractive paintings depicting biblical scenes and illustrations of discovery of the tomb of St. Barnabas (at Salamis), this beautiful cathedral is dedicated to Saint John, who was a renowned theologian. Some magnificent features of this picturesque cathedral are the remarkable double-headed eagles and the iconostasis of the carved wood covered all over with gold leaf.
The City Walls of Famagusta
Surrounding the old city of Famagusta, the extensive and majestic walls of Famagusta are one of a kind aesthetic portrayal of the historic richness of Nicosia. The height of these walls varies from 60 feet and 30 feet thickness, which finds its origin to the medieval times. As per historical evidences, these walls were first constructed by the Lusignans, but later, Venetians (who captured the island) fortified the walls to the current form with the help of experts brought from Venice. In total, eleven heart-shaped bastions with three gates in different directions are surrounded by these walls.
Idyllically situated at a distance of around 19 km south-west of Nicosia, Tamassos was initially an ancient city kingdom, which was best known for its exclusive and rich copper works. This destination is mainly an excavation site where archaeological excavation has resulted producing a total of six limestone sculptures, amongst which two are life-sized sphinxes and four are majestic lions. Dating back to the 6th century BC, these sculptures affirm the fact that at that time the island of Cyprus was under the reign of Egyptians.
Apart from these, the city of Nicosia is dotted with a huge number of small yet significant tourist attractions. So, what are you waiting for?