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/ MAIN / Travel Guide to Cyprus & Places of Interest / Nicosia places of interest & things to do

NICOSIA

Nicosia - the capital of Cyprus, located in the central part of island, is convenient for visiting from all cities and villages of the island. It not only cultural and business center, but also sightseeing of Cyprus. The age of Nicosia is measured by thousands years. The old city: here you can find a set of museums and monuments. District of Laiki Yitonia with charming narrow streets, traditional Cyprian court yard will transfer you to the past. The center of national crafts, art gallery, St. John's cathedral with its well-known frescos, a museum of jewellery art and many other things, will doubtless attract your attention

Places of interest in Nicosia

 

The Cyprian museum

The Cyprus museum is the main & largest archeological museum in Cyprus. A visit through the collections of the museum provides an opportunity to experience the development of Cyprus civilization from the Neolithic age to the Early Byzantine period (7th century AD).

 

Byzantine museum & Art Galleries

Museum contains the richest & most representative collection of Byzantine art n Cyprus. Over 200 icons dating from the 9th to the 19th century. The 6th century mosaics and a lot of other

The 4 galleries of the Cultural Centre f the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation exhibit a unique collection of representative works of Western-European art dating from the Renaissance to modern times.

 

St John’s cathedral

It was built by Archbishop Nikiforos in 1662 on the site of a 14th century Benedictine chapel dedicated to St John the Evangelist & it was turned into an Orthodox monastery in 1426.

 

Cyprus Archaeological Museum

Situated in Lefkosia (Nicosia), this is the main archaeological Museum of Cyprus and traces the long history of civilization on the island from prehistoric times to the early Christian period. Extensive excavations throughout the island have enriched the collections of the museum considerably and brought Cypriot archaeology to the fore front of international archaeological research. Here the cultural heritage of Cyprus, such as pottery, jewelry, sculpture and coins from the Neolithic period to the Bronze Age, Iron Age and the Greco-Roman period, is cherished and displayed for everyone to enjoy. Star exhibits include the statue of Aphrodite of Soloi, a gold jewelry collection and relics from the royal tombs of Salamis.The museum is a stop on the Aphrodite Cultural route.

 

Cyprus Handicraft Centre Lefkosia

At the Handicraft Centre in Lefkosia (Nicosia) visitors can see artisans engaged in such traditional crafts as weaving, basket making, wood carving, pottery, and the production of leather and traditional copper items. A large variety of hand-produced items are on sale at the Centre's shop. The Cyprus Handicraft Service has similar shops in the towns of Lemesos (Limassol), Larnaca (Larnaca) and Pafos (Paphos).

 

Cyprus Museum of Natural History

Founded by «The Photos Photiades Charity, Scientific and Cultural Foundation» the Cyprus Museum of Natural History on the outskirts of Lefkosia (Nicosia) is the largest museum of its kind in Cyprus. Among its 2500 or so exhibits are stuffed mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects as well as rocks, minerals, semi precious stones, shells and fossils.

 

Cyprus Police Museum

The museum, near police headquarters in Lefkosia (Nicosia), was originally founded in 1933 as a Criminal Museum by the then British Chief of Police of the colonial government. A substantial part of the museum is dedicated to the history of the Cyprus Police, with exhibits dating back to the early years of the British period up to the present times. Apart from the purely police - related and crime - related exhibits, the museum also houses some very interesting items and documents from important periods of the modern history of Cyprus, including the 1955 - 1959 anti - colonial struggle and World War II.

 

Cyprus Postal Museum

Situated within the walled city of Lefkosia (Nicosia), this museum is home to an exhibition dedicated to the development of postal services in Cyprus and a collection of Cyprus stamps from the 18th century onwards considered as some of the best in international philately.

 

Ethnographic Museum of Cyprus

This fine collection of 19th and early 20th century Cypriot folk art including wood - carved objects, tapestry, embroidery, pottery, national costumes and hand woven materials is housed in the beautiful old Archbishopric in the heart of Lefkosia (Nicosia).

 

Local Museum of Ancient Idalion

The local museum of Idalion was founded in 2007 with the aim to promote the rich finds of the region of Idalion and later to function as a visitors´ centre for the archaeological site in which it is located. The exhibits of the museum represent all the chronological phases of the history of Idalion and come from both the old and the more recent excavations of the area of the ancient city and from both settlements and cemeteries.

 

Museum of the George and Nefeli Giabra Pierides Collection

One of the most important private collections in Cyprus, the museum possesses superb examples of Mycenaean Greek pottery, including a unique anthropomorphic vessel, as well as the white slip and base ring style which gave Cyprus pottery international fame. The richest part of the collection consists of limestone sculptures from the 6th century BC to the Hellenistic period. It is situated within the walled city of Lefkosia (Nicosia).

 

Museum on the History of Cypriote Coinage

Located in Lefkosia (Nicosia), the exhibition traces the development of Cypriot coinage from the first coins issued during the 6th century BC to modern times. Some 2600 years of turbulent Cypriot history come alive through 370 coins, divided into nine chronological sections and exhibited in 20 showcases. Relying on high - tech methods to preserve the coins’ quality, the museum is an important resource for educational programmes on the history of Cyprus. The museum is on the Aphrodite Cultural Route.

 

Pancyprian Geographical Museum

This is the island's first Geographical Museum, essentially a museum of natural history, and was created by Strovolos Municipality with the aim of raising environmental awareness and providing a source of research on the natural history of the island. Housed in an old house near Chrysseleousa Church in the old quarter of Strovolos, the museum has three main exhibition halls displaying specimens of the island's fauna, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and minerals, as well as historic and modern maps and charts of Cyprus.

 

Proto - Industrial Museum

The early industrial workshop of Agia Varvara is unique in Cyprus. It combines a traditional house with the place of work. The ingenuity of the owner led to the establishment of a pioneering workshop using the primitive means of the 1920s. The flourmill, the crushed wheat mill, the barley mill and the oil mill were all put in motion by a single engine. With the combination of transmission shafts, wheels and belts, motion was distributed to a number of machines, according to the owner’s needs.

 

State Gallery of Contemporary Art

This collection of paintings and sculptures by 20th century Cypriot artists is housed in a beautiful restored building in Lefkosia (Nicosia).

 

 

The Cyprus Classic Motorcycle Museum

The Cyprus Classic Motorcycle Museum in Lefkosia (Nicosia) was established by Andreas Nicolaou and is the result of a 20 - year personal effort. Today, this collection comprises more than 150 pieces. The museum exhibits motorcycles dated between 1914 - 1983, such as AJS, MV Aqusta, Matchless, Norton, BSA, Triumph, Ariel, BMW, James, Moto Guzzi, Royal Enfield and many more.

 

The Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia

The Leventis Municipal Museum traces the history and social development of Lefkosia (Nicosia) from the Chalcolithic period to the present day. Founded in 1984, it takes its name from its donor, the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation which bought and restored the building, and is administered by Lefkosia (Nicosia) Municipality. The museum’s wide - ranging collection includes archaeological finds, costumes, photographs, medieval pottery, maps, engravings, jewels and furniture

 

The Museums of the Pancyprian Gymnasium

 The Museums of The Pancyprian Gymnasium, the oldest secondary school of Cyprus, are being housed in the historical centre of Lefkosia (Nicosia), in a fascinating 12-room space. Apart from the Museum of the history of the school, the Museums of The Pancyprian Gymnasium comprise of the archaeological and the monetary collection, the old map and the old weaponry collection, most of which have a Cypriot character. There is also a gallery with the work of great painters who served as teachers and students of the school, a Museum for natural history and other exhibits.

 

Archangelos Michail Convent

Dating to the Byzantine period, the church was founded by Archbishop Nikiforos whose tomb can be seen in the narthex. Rebuilding was carried out in 1636 and in 1713 when it was acquired by Kykkos Monastery. The iconostasis dates back to 1650 and there is a 1785 fresco of Archangelos Michail. Situated off the Lefkosia -Anthoupolis road, some 10 minutes drive from Lefkosia (Nicosia), the church now houses the Kykkos Monastery Research Centre.

 

Bayraktar Mosque

This Ottoman mosque is located in the southern part of old Lefkosia (Nicosia), on the western end of the Constanza Bastion. Its name derives from the Turkish word “bayrak”, meaning flag or military trophy, because this is the spot where the first Ottoman flag was raised when Lefkosia fell on September 9th 1570. The flag - bearer was said to have been killed on the spot by the defenders of the capital and was later buried there. His grave was built much later, in 1764, while the mosque itself was built later still, in 1820.

 

Faneromeni Church

Built in 1872 within the old city walls, this used to be the largest church in Lefkosia (Nicosia). The marble mausoleum to the east of the church contains the relics of the bishops and priests executed by the Ottomans in 1821.

 

Hamam Omeriye

The Omeriye Hamam is in the old town of Lefkosia (Nicosia), next to the Omeriye Mosque and not far from the Archbishop’s Palace. It was built in 1570 - 71 as a donation by Lala Mustafa Pasha to the city after the island fell to the Ottomans. The bath complex or hamam was dedicated to the Caliph Omar and the area became known as Omeriye. The entrance on the south side of the building led first into a small courtyard and then into the reception - hall.

 

Holy Cross Catholic Church

Situated at Pafos Gate just within the old walled city of Lefkosia (Nicosia), the Holy Cross Catholic Church dates back to 1900 and caters for the capital’s Roman Catholic community – both local and foreign. It was built on the site of an older church dedicated to the Holy Cross that was constructed in 1642 and remained in use until the end of the 19th century before it was pulled down to make room for the current building. The first stone of the present church was blessed on April 8, 1900 and the church was inaugurated in 1902. The cost was partly covered by the Royal Family of Spain and partly by the Franciscan Friars.

 

Pafos Gate

Pafos Gate was one of the three gates in the walls built by the Venetians around Lefkosia (Nicosia). The road beginning immediately outside the gate led southwest to the town of Pafos (Paphos), hence the name. It was also known as ‘Gate of San Domenico’, because it replaced an earlier gate of the Frankish walls, called ‘Porta di San Domenico’ after the nearby abbey of San Domenico. The gate is a simple affair, an opening in the wall roofed by a barrel vault.

 

Panagia Chrysospiliotissa Church

The cave church of Our Lady of the Golden Cave on the outskirts of Lefkosia (Nicosia) on the road to Dheftera is a picturesque example of a type of Levantine monastery or hermitage uncommon in Cyprus but typical of ancient Levantine Christianity. It consists of a natural sandstone cave enlarged to form an apse, nave, narthex and vestries, lovingly tended by women from the village. It was once completely decorated, but all the plaster has fallen away except in the sanctuary and even that has been defaced. The church houses a rain - inducingicon of the Virgin, invoked in times of drought. 

 

Pyli Ammochostou

Famagusta Gate, the most significant of the gates of Venetian Lefkosia (Nicosia), opened onto the road that led to the most important harbour town of the island, hence its name. It was originally known as ‘Porta Giuliana’ in honour of Giulio Savorgnano, the engineer who designed and erected the Venetian walls. The gate has an impressive façade and consists of a large vaulted passage with a large domed room in the middle, 10.97 metres in diameter. On either side of the passage are oblong rooms for the guards.

 

The Medieval walls of Lefkosia

The first walls surrounding Lefkosia (Nicosia) in the 14th century were built by the Franks and enclosed a much larger area than the 16th Venetian Walls that still surround the old town. When the Venetians occupied Cyprus, they decided to demolish the Frankish Walls because they were old and did not offer adequate defence against new weapons such as artillery. The Frankish Walls were also too big to be manned by the Venetian army and too close to the hills in the east and southeast of the city.

 

Archbishop's Palace

A religious, national and political monument, the Old Archbishop’s Palace is an 18th century two - storey building in the heart of Lefkosia (Nicosia) that is closely associated with modern Cypriot history. Next to it is the new Archbishop’s Palace, a two - storey stone building in Neo - Byzantine style housing the offices of the archdiocese and the residence of the archbishop. It was built by Archbishop Makarios III between 1956 and 1960 and also houses the Byzantine Museum and the Library of the Archbishopric. Since the completion of the new Archbishopric, the Old Archbishop’s Palace has housed the Folk Art Museum and the National Struggle Museum.

 

Idalion

Greeks probably founded Idalion around 1220 B.C, while the cult of Amyklaios Apollo suggests that many of them came from Laconia. The town was divided into three sections - the west acropolis (“Ambeleri”), the east acropolis (“Moutti tou Arvili”) and the lower city between them. The first inhabitants settled on the west acropolis, but the town later expanded northward and eastward, coming to number some 10,000 inhabitants by 500 B.C. A sanctuary dedicated to Aphrodite was located on the east acropolis. Around 450 B.C. the Phoenicians occupied Idalion. The city was placed under the rule of the King of Kition and begun to decline.

 

Sanctuary of Aphrodite, Tamasos

Ancient writers make ample reference to the cult of Aphrodite in the city of Tamassos. The sanctuary of the goddess is also confirmed archaeologically on site where an altar made of rough limestone, as well as various votive vessels, incense burners and lamps have been unearthed. Terracotta and stone statuettes of pigeons (the bird sacred to Aphrodite) were also found. The sanctuary and the altar are thought to have been built during the Cypro - Archaic II period (600 - 475 BC), destroyed at the beginning of the 5th century and again in the 4th century BC and then rebuilt during Hellenistic times.

 

Tamassos Royal Tombs

Tamassos was located in the area where the villages of Politiko, Pera and Episkopio are to be found today, on the left bank of the river Pediaios about 21 kilometres south - west of Lefkosia (Nicosia). It was one of the most important city - kingdoms of Cyprus, even though neither the exact date of its establishment nor its founder are known. Visible today in the large archaeological site are the temple of Aphrodite, two majestic royal tombs as well as several smaller ones. Part of the city’s fortifications and copper - processing installations can also be seen at the site. Excavations have also brought to light copper workshops associated with Aphrodite - Astarte and six oversized limestone statues of in estimable value dating back to the 6th century B.C. when Cyprus was under Egyptian rule. The latter are now exhibited in the Cyprus Archaeological Museum in Lefkosia (Nicosia).

Recommended accommodation in Nicosia

Cyprus Hilton 5* Nicosia Cyrpus Hilton Park 4* Nicosia Cyrpus
Holiday Inn 4* Nicosia Cyrpus Cleopatra 4* Nicosia Cyrpus
Classic 3* Nicosia Cyrpus Europa 3* Nicosia Cyrpus
Centrum 3* Nicosia Cyrpus Castelli 3* Nicosia Cyrpus

Click here to view full list  accommodation in Nicosia, Cyprus that features: Hotels

 

Things to do & buy in Nicosia

Enjoy one of the nice taverns & bars, cafe, disco, local and internal restaurants.

Shopping

Nicosia nature parks
Museums
Old Nicosia town

Shopping area in Nicosia

Nicosia Shopping   The main shopping areas in Nicosia are Arch. Makarios Avenue, the parallel street behind it, Stasikratous Street, and Ledra Street. In addition to shopping for handicrafts, embroidery, pottery and other local made items, visitors to Nicosia might like to take advantage of the capital's modern commercial centers to buy such items as the latest design fashions, prescription eye wear, perfumes and liqueurs, many of which are less costly here than in Europe.

Stasikratous Street is known for its attractive and rather expensive boutiques, selling high quality clothes and shoes as well as silverware, fine porcelain and imported oriental clothes. If you follow Makarios Avenue until the end and then turn right, you will get to Eleftheria Square, which leads to the central part of the town. Most of the shopping area in the old part of Nicosia is now pedestrian way so it is easy to ramble through the zigzag streets of the town especially Laiki Yitonia which is of particular interest to travelers who want a taste of Cypriot culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 





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