The capital of the island which is the only capital of Europe that is divided into 2 parts is called Nicosia in English, Lefkosa in Turkish, and Lefkosia in Greek. The beautiful part of the city is hidden in the old town of Nicosia which is embraced by the well preserved stony Venetian walls. In the old days, you could only enter the city from 3 Gates. Today we'll visit 2 of these gates. What we'll do is walk from one gate to the other. So we start the day from Kyrenia Gate. Samanbahce Quarter, Venetian Column, St. Sophia Cathedral, Bedesten, and Bandabuliya are some of the places that we'll visit on our tour. Buyuk Han is one of the nicest Kervansaray which was built in 16AD is attracting everyone with its souvenir shops and local tastes. After a short break to walk to Paphos Gate we cross the checkpoint and we walk to South Nicosia. We'll walk in Ledra street while we pass through the beautiful old houses that were built during the Lusignan, Ottoman, or English periods. A lot to see and a lot to tell about. This tour will combine the past and present in the streets of nostalgia in the divided capital of the island. Please wear comfortable shoes as this tour is on foot.
I was born and raised in Nicosia therefore, I can show you the city as no one else can. So come and join me on this tour to have a wonderful day, full of history, culture, and laughter.
Paphos - Kyrenia- Famagusta Gate: As Nicosia was surrounded by walls in the old days there were only 3 gates to enter Nicosia. These were Famagusta, Kyrenia, and Paphos Gates. All these gates had guards and when the sunset the guards wood lock the gates for the protection of the city until the sun rises for the next day.
Samanbahce Houses: These are 72 houses that were built in the early 1900s on the land of Saban Pasha. They were the first social houses and were given to the people in need. You’ll see a cistern in the centre with beautiful flowers on the side of the houses which are still in use.
Venetian Column: It is in the centre of N.Nicosia. It was brought here from Salamis by Venetians. There was a lion on the top of the pillar but later on removed by the English and replaced by a globe.
Arasta: Surrounded by small shops selling yarn, material, jewelry, etc
St.Sophia Cathedral: It was built in 1208-1326 by Lusignans and were being crowned here. When Ottomans came in 1570 added minarets and converted them into a Mosque.
St.Nicholas Church(Bedesten): Constructed on the 14th century Byzantine church. It was built as a cathedral Church by Lusignans and used as St. Nicholas Church and Archbishop building by Venetians. During the Ottoman period, it was used as Bedesten which was the textile and food market.