« Nicosia Municipality » is contributing to the ONE in FIVE Campaign - a pan-European campaign coordinated by the Council of Europe « Partner city »
Nicosia, the capital of the island of Cyprus, is one of the oldest cities in the eastern Mediterranean. The heart of the city lies within the walls built in the 16th century by the Venetians and includes interesting museums and exhibition centres, Byzantine churches, buildings of the Middle Ages and neoclassical period. Nicosia has retained the romantic atmosphere of the past and the cosmopolitan rhythms of a modern European capital.
Greater Nicosia is probably the only area in Cyprus which can claim that it has been continuously inhabited without a break, since the Copper era, around 4.000 BC until nowadays. In ancient times and during the first centuries of Christianity it was known as the Kingdom of Ledra. Nicosia must have been declared capital of the island and the centre of administration in the tenth century.
From 1192 to 1571 the city of Nicosia was the capital of the medieval kingdom of Cyprus. The Lusignan family, from Poitiers France bought the island from Richard the Lionheart who conquered the island during the 3rd crusade in 1191. Nicosia became their capital and was transformed it into a magnificent city with royal palaces and many gothic churches and monasteries. The city remained the capital of the island during the Venetian rule from 1474 to 1570 AD. Nicosia's Venetian walls are considered to this day as a prototype of military architecture of the Renaissance period. These walls have been maintained to our present times with very few interventions.
The Ottomans captured the island in 1571 and the city became the seat of their administration.
When Cyprus was handed over to the administration of the United Kingdom in 1878 Nicosia regained its former glory and became the capital of the British administration.
Since the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, Nicosia is the capital of the island. Unfortunately for the past 42 years, since 1963 due to intercommunal problems it has been divided. It historical centre, the entire city is cut in two by the so called Green Line. The island of Cyprus has been divided as well since 1974. This Line is the result of the invasion and occupation of our homeland by the Turkish troops.
Today Nicosia is a modern, cosmopolitan capital, rich in history and culture. The city is the most important administrative and commercial centre of the island and combines a rich historical past with the fast growing pace of a modern European capital.