Nicosia

Nicosia

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For the Italian town, see: Nicosia, Sicily. Also see: Nicosia (disambiguation)
Nicosia (disambiguation)
-Places:Cyprus*Nicosia, a municipality in Nicosia District and capital of the Republic of Cyprus*North Nicosia, a municipality in Nicosia District and capital of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus-Administrative units:...

.


Nicosia (ˌnɪkəˈsiːə ) from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided
Divided cities
A divided city is one which, as a consequence of political changes or border shifts, presently constitutes two separate entities. Listed are the localities and the state they belonged to at the time of division...

 capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line
United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus
The United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus runs for more than along what is known as the Green Line and has an area of . The zone partitions the island of Cyprus into a southern area effectively controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus , and the northern area...

. It is located near the center of the island, on the banks of the Pedieos River.

Nicosia is the capital and seat of government of the Republic of Cyprus. The northern part
North Nicosia
North Nicosia or Northern Nicosia , is the capital and largest city of the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It is the northern half of Nicosia, and governed by the Nicosia Turkish Municipality...

 of the city functions as the capital of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Northern Cyprus or North Cyprus , officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , is a self-declared state that comprises the northeastern part of the island of Cyprus...

, a disputed breakaway region whose claim to independent statehood is recognized only by Turkey, and which the rest of the international community considers as occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus since 1974.

Despite the division Nicosia has managed to become a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city, rich in history and culture that combines its historic past with the amenities of a modern city.

Through the years Nicosia has established itself as the island's financial capital and its main international business centre. Nicosia is consistently ranked as one of the richest cities in the world in per capita income terms.
In the past few years Nicosia has seen remarkable progress regarding its infrastructure with the most remarkable being the central Eleftheria square
Eleftheria square
Eleftheria square , is the main square in central Nicosia, Cyprus. It forms the intersection of Ledra and Onasagorou streets with Stasinou, Omirou, Kostaki Pantelidi, Konstandinou Palaiologou and Evagorou avenues. Prior to 1974 the centre of city was considered to be Faneromeni Square...

 currently in progress.

Landmarks



Ledra Street
Ledra Street
Ledra Street is a major shopping thoroughfare in central Nicosia, Cyprus, which links North and South Nicosia....

 is in the middle of the walled city. The street has historically been the busiest shopping street of the capital and adjacent streets lead to the most lively part of the old city with narrow streets, boutiques, bars and art-cafés. The street today is a historic monument on its own. It is about 1 km (0.621372736649807 mi) long and connects the south and north parts of the old city. During the EOKA struggle
EOKA
EOKA was an anticolonial, antiimperialist nationalist organisation with the ultimate goal of "The liberation of Cyprus from the British yoke". Although not stated in its initial declaration of existence which was printed and distributed on the 1st of April 1955, EOKA also had a target of achieving...

 that ran from 1955–1959, the street acquired the informal nickname The Murder Mile
Murder mile
Murder Mile is a nickname sometimes given to roads known for high crime rates or military conflict. Such roads include:* Ledra Street, in Nicosia, Cyprus, in the late 1950s* Upper and Lower Clapton Roads in Hackney, London, in the early 2000s...

in reference to the frequent targeting of the British military by nationalist fighters along its course. In 1963, during the outbreak of hostilities between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, following the announcement of amendments to the Cypriot Constitution, Turkish Cypriots withdrew to the northern part of Nicosia which became one of the many Turkish Cypriot enclaves
Turkish Cypriot Enclaves
The Turkish Cypriot enclaves were enclaves inhabited by Turkish Cypriots before the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.-Events leading to the creation of the enclaves:...

 which existed throughout the island. Various streets which ran between the northern and southern part of the city, including Ledra Street, were blockaded. During the Turkish army invasion of Cyprus in 1974, Turkish troops occupied northern Nicosia (as well as the northern part of Cyprus). A buffer zone was established across the island along the ceasefire line to separate the northern Turkish controlled part of the island, and the south. The buffer zone runs through Ledra Street. After many failed attempts on reaching agreement between the two communities, Ledra Street was re-opened on 3 April 2008.

To the east of Ledra Street, Faneromeni Square
Faneromeni Square Nicosia
Faneromeni Square , is an important historical square located within the Venetian walls of Nicosia.It hosts a number of historical buildings and monuments including Faneromeni Church , Faneromeni School , Faneromeni Library and the Marble Mausoleum ....

 was the centre of Nicosia before 1974. It hosts a number of historical buildings and monuments including Faneromeni Church, Faneromeni School, Faneromeni Library and the Marble Mausoleum. Faneromeni Church, is a church built in 1872 in the stead of another church located at the same site, constructed with the remains of La Cava castle and a convent. There rest the archbishop and the other bishops who were executed by the Ottomans in the Saray Square during the 1821 revolt. The Palace of the Archbishop can be found at Archbishop Kyprianos Square. Although it seems very old, it is a wonderful imitation of typical Venetian style, built in 1956. Next to the palace is the late Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 Saint John
St. John's Cathedral
St. John's Cathedral, or Cathedral of St. John, or other variations on the name, with or without the suffix 'the Evangelist, may refer to:In Antigua:*St. John's Cathedral, St. John'sIn Australia:*St John's Cathedral, Brisbane...

 cathedral (1665) with picturesque frescos. The square leads to Onasagorou Street
Onasagorou Street
Onasagorou Street is a major shopping street in central Nicosia that runs from Eleftheria square to Faneromeni School. It has been a fashionable shopping street since the 19th century and is currently the home of many high-priced fashion shops. It is currently one of the most expensive strips of...

, another busy shopping street in the historical centre.

The walls sourrounding the old city have three gates. In The Kyrenia Gate
Kyrenia Gate
The Kyrenia Gate is a gate in the Nicosia walls, in North Nicosia, Cyprus. It was the gate which was used for transport to the northern areas, especially Kyrenia.The gate was built in 1567 by Venetians, as a part of the new city walls...

 which was responsible to the transport to the north, and especially Kyrenia
Kyrenia
Kyrenia is a town on the northern coast of Cyprus, noted for its historic harbour and castle. Internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyrenia has been under Turkish control since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974...

, the Famagusta Gate which was responsible for the transport from Famagusta
Famagusta
Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus and is capital of the Famagusta District. It is located east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour of the island.-Name:...

, Larnaca
Larnaca
Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

 and Limassol
Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

 and Karpasia
Karpasia
Karpasia may refer to:* Karpass Peninsula, the long, finger-like peninsula of northeastern Cyprus* Karpasia , an ancient townsite on the peninsula....

, and the Paphos Gate for transport to the west and especially Paphos
Paphos
Paphos , sometimes referred to as Pafos, is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about west of the...

. All three gates are well-preserved.

In the northern part of the walled city the Selimiye Mosque
Selimiye Mosque (Nicosia)
Selimiye Mosque or Agia Sofia Cathedral, formerly Cathédrale Sainte Sophie, is located in the Turkish controlled northern part of the walled city of Nicosia. It is the main mosque in the city. It is housed in the largest and oldest surviving gothic church in Cyprus possibly constructed on the site...

 is the main mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

, where the great festivals of Bayram
Bayram
Bayram or Bairam or Beyram may refer to:* Bayram , the Turkish word for a festival or celebration* Bayrami , a Sufi order* Public holidays in Azerbaijan-People:* Hacı Bayram-ı Veli, Turkish Sufi...

 and other Moslem gatherings are conducted. It was formerly the cathedral of St. Sophia which was built in the period from 1209 to 1228 AD, over the ruins of a previous building. Other famous mosques are Haydarpasha Mosque
Haydarpasha Mosque
Haydarpasha Mosque/St. Catherine’s Cathedral in Nicosia was originally built by the Lusignans in the 14th century. It has been described by Harry Charles Luke as representing one of the finest examples of Gothic buildings on the island...

 and Arabahmet Mosque
Arabahmet Mosque
Arabahmet Mosque is situated in the city of Nicosia in the northern part of Cyprus. It was built in the late 16th century. The Mosque is named after a commander of the 1571 Ottoman army. The mosque is the tombs of some important persons of the past in its garden....

. The Omerye Mosque in the southern sector is used for the needs of the Muslim immigrants who reside in the city.

The centre of the northern part is Atatürk Square
Atatürk Square
Atatürk Square or Sarayönü is a square in North Nicosia. It is the center of the Turkish part of the city. It was known as "Konak Square" prior to the last years of British sovereignty on the island.The Venetian Column, which was transported from the ruins of Salamis, stands at the square...

 (also known as Saray Square). The square is one of the oldest and most historical places of the city. The square takes its name from the Lusignian Palace (Saray) which stood in the area before it was destroyed by the Venetians in 1489. When the Venetians captured Nicosia, they built the square and placed a ancient Greek column in the middle. The column was moved from the Greek city of Salamis
Salamis
Salamis may refer to* Salamis Island in the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea, near Athens, Greece* Battle of Salamis, fought at Salamis Island in 480 B.C.* Salamis , a genus of butterfly in the family Nymphalidae...

 as a tribute to Venetian rule of Cyprus. When the square was built, on top of the granite column, there was the lion of St. Mark and at the bottom, the coats of arms of noble Venatian families. In 1570, when the Ottomans captured Nicosia, they removed the lion, toppled the column and left it in the courtyard of Sarayonu Mosque. During the Ottoman era
Ottoman Cyprus
The Eyalet of Cyprus was created in 1571, and changed its status frequently. It was a sanjak of the Eyalet of the Archipelago from 1660 to 1703, and again from 1784 onwards; a fief of the Grand Vizier , and again an eyalet for the short period 1745-1748.- Ottoman raids and conquest :Throughout the...

 the Saray Square was the main square of the city. In July 1821, during the preparation of the Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

, with the Sultan's consent, the Ottoman administration in the island under governor Küçük Mehmet, executed 486 Greek Cypriots, accusing them of conspiring with the rebellious Greeks. They included four Bishops, many clergymen and prominent citizens, who were beheaded in Saray Square, while Archbishop Kyprianos was hanged from a mulberry tree in the square. In 1915, the column was re-erected by the British. They replaced the lost St Mark lion with a bronze orb, and decorated the plinth with the dates of the demolishing and re-erection, 1550 and 1915.

The historical centre is clearly present inside the walls, but the modern city has grown beyond.
Presently, the main square of the city is Eleftheria (Freedom) Square
Eleftheria square
Eleftheria square , is the main square in central Nicosia, Cyprus. It forms the intersection of Ledra and Onasagorou streets with Stasinou, Omirou, Kostaki Pantelidi, Konstandinou Palaiologou and Evagorou avenues. Prior to 1974 the centre of city was considered to be Faneromeni Square...

, with the city hall, the post office and the library. The square which is currently under renovation, connects the old city with the new city where one can find the main shopping streets such as the prestigious Stasikratous Street
Stasikratous Street
Stasikratous Street , is a major shopping steet located in the centre of Nicosia, Cyprus.Situated behind Makariou Anevue the street begins at the intersection of Spyrou Kyprianou Avenue and Makariou Anevue. Stasikratous street hosts a number of internationally prestigious brands. It has been...

, Themistokli Dervi Avenue
Themistokli Dervi Avenue
Themistokli Dervi Avenue , is a major shopping steet located in the centre of Nicosia, Cyprus. The avenue hosts a number of internationally prestigious brands. It also includes numerous cafeterias and restaurants. It has been categorised as one of the most famous avenues in the Eastern...

 and Makarios Avenue
Makarios Avenue
Makarios Avenue is an avenue in the centre of Nicosia, Cyprus which covers a distance of 2 km. The Street starts from the Junction of Evagoras Avenue until Aglandjia Avenue and is named after the first President of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios III. In Colonial times Makarios Avenue was named...

.

Nicosia is also known for its fine museums. The Archbishop's Palace contains a Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 museum containing the largest collection of religious icons on the island. Leventis Municipal Museum
Leventio Museum
The Leventio Museum in Nicosia, Cyprus, is home to an extensive collection of Cypriot works include archaeological artifacts, costumes, photographs, medieval pottery, maps and engravings, jewels, and furniture.-History:...

 is the only historical museum of Nicosia and revives the old ways of life in the capital from ancient times up to our days. Other interesting museums include the Folk Art Museum, National Struggle Museum (witnessing the rebellion against the British administration
EOKA
EOKA was an anticolonial, antiimperialist nationalist organisation with the ultimate goal of "The liberation of Cyprus from the British yoke". Although not stated in its initial declaration of existence which was printed and distributed on the 1st of April 1955, EOKA also had a target of achieving...

 in the 1950s), Cyprus Ethnological Museum (House of Dragoman Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios, 18th century) and the Handicrafts Centre.

Nicosia also hosts an Armenian achbishopship, a small Buddhist temple and also the Maronite arbishopship and convent. Cyprus is the second most important country for the Maronite people worldwide after Lebanon. During the Pope's visit to the island in June 2010, the Pontiff resided inside the convent.

Pre-historic


Nicosia has been in continuous habitation since the beginning of the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 2500 years BC, when the first inhabitants settled in the fertile plain of Mesaoria. Nicosia later became a city-state
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

 known as Ledra
Ledra
thumb|right|250px|Map showing the ancient city Kingdoms of CyprusLedra , also spelt Ledrae was an ancient city-kingdom located in the centre of Cyprus where the capital city of Nicosia is today. It was established in 1050 BC but by Hellenistic times it had dwindled to a small village...

 or Ledrae, one of the twelve kingdoms of ancient Cyprus built by Achaeans
Achaeans (tribe)
The Achaeans were one of the four major tribes into which the people of Classical Greece divided themselves. According to the foundation myth formalized by Hesiod, their name comes from Achaeus, the mythical founder of the Achaean tribe, who was supposedly one of the sons of Xuthus, and brother of...

 after the end of the Trojan War
Trojan War
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in many works of Greek literature, including the Iliad...

. Remains of old Ledra today can be found in the Ayia Paraskevi hill in the south east of the city. We only know about one king of Ledra, Onasagoras. The kingdom of Ledra was destroyed early. Under Assyrian rule of Cyprus, Onasagoras, was recorded as paying tribute to Esarhaddon
Esarhaddon
Esarhaddon , was a king of Assyria who reigned 681 – 669 BC. He was the youngest son of Sennacherib and the Aramean queen Naqi'a , Sennacherib's second wife....

 of Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

 in 672 BC. Rebuilt by Lefkonas, son of Ptolemy I around 300 BC, Ledra is described as a small and unimportant town, also known as Lefkotheon. The main activity of the town inhabitants was farming. During this era, Ledra did not have the huge growth that the other Cypriot coastal towns had, which was primarily based on trade.

Roman and Byzantine times


In Byzantine times the town was also referred to as Lefkousia and also as Kallinikisis. In the 4th century AC, the town became the seat of bishopship, with bishop Saint Tryphillius (Trifillios), a student of Saint Spyridon.

After the destruction of Salamis
Salamis, Cyprus
Salamis was an ancient Greek city-state on the east coast of Cyprus, at the mouth of the river Pedieos, 6 km north of modern Famagusta. According to tradition the founder of Salamis was Teucer, son of Telamon, who could not return home after the Trojan war because he had failed to avenge his...

 by Arab raids in 647, the existing capital of Cyprus, Nicosia became the capital of the island around 965, when Cyprus rejoined the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

. The Byzantines moved the islands administration seat to Nicosia, primarily for security reasons as coastal towns were often suffering from raids. Since then it remains as the capital of Cyprus. Nicosia had acquired a castle and was the seat of the Byzantine governor of Cyprus. The last Byzantine governor of the Island was Isaac Comnenus who declared himself emperor of the island and ruled the island from 1183–1191.

Medieval times


On his way to the Holy Land
Holy Land
The Holy Land is a term which in Judaism refers to the Kingdom of Israel as defined in the Tanakh. For Jews, the Land's identifiction of being Holy is defined in Judaism by its differentiation from other lands by virtue of the practice of Judaism often possible only in the Land of Israel...

 during the Third Crusade
Third Crusade
The Third Crusade , also known as the Kings' Crusade, was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin...

 in 1191, Richard I of England
Richard I of England
Richard I was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period...

 fleet was plagued by storms. He himself stopped first at Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 and then at Rhodes
Rhodes
Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

. Three ships, one of which was carrying Queen Joan of Sicily
Joan of England, Queen of Sicily
Joan of England was the seventh child of Henry II of England and his queen consort, Eleanor of Aquitaine.Joan was a younger maternal half-sister of Marie de Champagne and Alix of France...

 and Berengaria of Navarre
Berengaria of Navarre
Berengaria of Navarre was Queen of the English as the wife of King Richard I of England. She was the eldest daughter of King Sancho VI of Navarre and Sancha of Castile. As is the case with many of the medieval queens consort of the Kingdom of England, relatively little is known of her life...

, Richard's bride-to-be. Two of the ships were wrecked off Cyprus, but the ship bearing the Joan and Berengaria made it safely to Limassol. Joan refused to come ashore, fearing she would be captured and held hostage by Isaac Comnenus, who hated all Franks. Her ship sat at anchor for a full week before Richard finally arrived on the 8th of May. Outraged at the treatment of his sister and his future bride Richard invaded.

Richard laid siege to Nicosia, Richard finally met and defeated Isaac Comnenus at Tremetousia. Richard became ruler of the island but sold the island to the Knights Templar
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

. The Knights Templar ruled the island having bought it from Richard the Lionheart for 100.000 gold byzantiums. Their seat was the castle of Nicosia. On Easter day on the 11th of April 1192 the people of Nicosia revolted and drove the Knights Templar off the city. Having driven the Knights Templar away, fearing their return the Nicosians demolished the castle of the city almost to its foundations.

Guy of Lusignan
Guy of Lusignan
Guy of Lusignan was a Poitevin knight, son of Hugh VIII of the prominent Lusignan dynasty. He was king of the crusader state of Jerusalem from 1186 to 1192 by right of marriage to Sibylla of Jerusalem, and of Cyprus from 1192 to 1194...

, King of Jerusalem, bought Cyprus from the Knights Templar and brought many noble men and other adventurers, from France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Jerusalem, Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

, the Principality of Antioch
Principality of Antioch
The Principality of Antioch, including parts of modern-day Turkey and Syria, was one of the crusader states created during the First Crusade.-Foundation:...

 and Kingdom of Armenia
Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia
The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia , also known as the Cilician Armenia, Kingdom of Cilician Armenia or New Armenia, was an independent principality formed during the High Middle Ages by Armenian refugees fleeing the Seljuk invasion of Armenia...

, to the island. Guy shared the land he had bought among them and Nicosia became capital off their kingdom. He imposed harsh feudal system and the vast majority of Cypriots were reduced to the status of serfs. The Frankish rule of Cyprus started from 1192 and lasted until 1489. During this time, Nicosia was the capital of the medieval Kingdom of Cyprus
Kingdom of Cyprus
The Kingdom of Cyprus was a Crusader kingdom on the island of Cyprus in the high and late Middle Ages, between 1192 and 1489. It was ruled by the French House of Lusignan.-History:...

, the seat of Lusignan
Lusignan
The Lusignan family originated in Poitou near Lusignan in western France in the early 10th century. By the end of the 11th century, they had risen to become the most prominent petty lords in the region from their castle at Lusignan...

 kings, the Latin Church and the Frankish administration of the island. During the Frankish rule, the walls of the city were built along with many other palaces and buildings, including the gothic Saint Sofia Cathedral
Selimiye Mosque (Nicosia)
Selimiye Mosque or Agia Sofia Cathedral, formerly Cathédrale Sainte Sophie, is located in the Turkish controlled northern part of the walled city of Nicosia. It is the main mosque in the city. It is housed in the largest and oldest surviving gothic church in Cyprus possibly constructed on the site...

. The tombs of the Lusignan
Lusignan
The Lusignan family originated in Poitou near Lusignan in western France in the early 10th century. By the end of the 11th century, they had risen to become the most prominent petty lords in the region from their castle at Lusignan...

 kings can be found there. The first Lusignan castle was built during the reign of King Henry I, 1211. On seals of the king and his mother Alix in 1234, a castle with one or two towers is depicted surrounded with the inscription “CIVITAS NICOSIE”. The exonym Nicosia appeared with the arrival of the Lusignans. The French-speaking
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 Crusaders either could not, or did not care to, pronounce the name Lefkosia, and tended to say "Nicosie" translated into Italian and then internationally known as "Nicosia".
In 1374 Nicosia was occupied and ravaged by the Genoans
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

 and in 1426 from the Mamelukes of Egypt
Mamluk
A Mamluk was a soldier of slave origin, who were predominantly Cumans/Kipchaks The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior...

.

In 1489 Cyprus was captured by the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

. Nicosia was their administrative center and the seat of the Venetian Governor. Since the threat from the Ottomans was visible, the Venetian Governors of Nicosia emphasized in their letters the need for all the cities of Cyprus to be fortified. In 1567 Venetians built the new fortifications of Nicosia, which are well-preserved until today, demolishing the old walls built by the Franks as well as other important buildings of the Frankish era including the King's Palace, other private palaces and churches and monasteries of both Orthodox and Latin Christians. The new walls took the shape of a star with eleven bastions. The design of the bastion is more suitable for artillery and a better control for the defenders. The walls have three gates, to the North Kyrenia Gate
Kyrenia Gate
The Kyrenia Gate is a gate in the Nicosia walls, in North Nicosia, Cyprus. It was the gate which was used for transport to the northern areas, especially Kyrenia.The gate was built in 1567 by Venetians, as a part of the new city walls...

, to the west Paphos Gate and to the east Famagusta Gate. The river Pedieos
Pedieos
The Pedieos is the longest river in Cyprus. The river originates in the Troodos Mountains close to Machairas Monastery and flows northeast across the Mesaoria plains, through the capital city Nicosia...

 used to flow through the Venetian walled city. In 1567 it was later diverted outside onto the newly built moat for strategic reasons, due to the expected Ottoman attack.

Ottoman and British administration


On July 1 st 1570 the Ottomans
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 invaded the island. On the 22nd of July, Piale Pasha having captured Paphos
Paphos
Paphos , sometimes referred to as Pafos, is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about west of the...

, Limassol
Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

 and Larnaca
Larnaca
Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

 marched his army towards Nicosia and laid siege to the city. The city managed to last 40 days under siege until it's fall on 9 September 1570. Some 20,000 residents died during the sige and every church, public building, and palace was looted. After its siege it was reported that the walls that were ruined, Nicosia retained very few inhabitants. The main Latin churches were converted into mosques, such as the conversion of Saint Sofia Cathedral into the Selimiye Mosque
Selimiye Mosque (Nicosia)
Selimiye Mosque or Agia Sofia Cathedral, formerly Cathédrale Sainte Sophie, is located in the Turkish controlled northern part of the walled city of Nicosia. It is the main mosque in the city. It is housed in the largest and oldest surviving gothic church in Cyprus possibly constructed on the site...

. From 1570 when the Ottomans took over Nicosia, the old river bed through the walled city was left open and was used as a dumping ground for refuse, where rainwater would rush through clearing it temporarily.

Nicosia was the seat of the Pasha
Pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

, the Greek Archbishop, the Dragoman
Dragoman
A dragoman was an interpreter, translator and official guide between Turkish, Arabic, and Persian-speaking countries and polities of the Middle East and European embassies, consulates, vice-consulates and trading posts...

 and the Qadi
Qadi
Qadi is a judge ruling in accordance with Islamic religious law appointed by the ruler of a Muslim country. Because Islam makes no distinction between religious and secular domains, qadis traditionally have jurisdiction over all legal matters involving Muslims...

. When the newly settled Turkish population arrived they generally lived in the north of the old riverbed. Greek Cypriots remained concentrated in the south, where the Archbishopric of the Orthodox Church was built. Other ethnic minority groups such as the Armenians and Latins came to be settled near the western entry into the city at Paphos Gate.
On 5 July 1878 the administration of the island was officially transferred to Great Britain
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. On 31 July 1878, Garnet Wolseley
Garnet Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley
Field Marshal Garnet Joseph Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley, KP, GCB, OM, GCMG, VD, PC was an Anglo-Irish officer in the British Army. He served in Burma, the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, China, Canada, and widely throughout Africa—including his Ashanti campaign and the Nile Expedition...

, the first High Commissioner
High Commissioner
High Commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment.The English term is also used to render various equivalent titles in other languages.-Bilateral diplomacy:...

, arrived in Nicosia. He immediately established a skeletal administration by sending officers to each district to supervise the administration of justice and obtain all possible information about the area. Garnet Wolseley immediately established a Post Office at his camp at Kykko Metochi monastery outside Nicosia. Garnet Wolseley lived at ‘Monastery Camp' until a prefabricated residence had been built for him near Strovolos on the site of today's Presidential Palace.

At the time of British administration, Nicosia was still contained entirely within its Venetian walls. Although full of private gardens and amply supplied with water carried to public fountains in aqueducts, the streets remained unpaved and just wide enough for a loaded pack animal. In 1881, macadamized roads through the town were completed to connect with the main roads to the coastal towns but no roads were asphalted until after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. A series of openings in the Venetian walls provided direct access to areas beyond the walls. The first opening was cut in the Paphos Gate in 1879. The Limassol or Hadjisavva opening, now Eleftheria Square linked the city to the government offices in 1882. In June of that year, the municipal limits were extended to “a circle drawn at a distance of five hundred yards beyond the salient angles of the bastions of the fortifications. An opening was made at the Kyrenia Gate in 1931 after one of Nicosia's first buses proved too high to go through the original gate. Many more openings followed. During the post-war period the villages around Nicosia began to expand. By 1958 they had been engulfed in suburbia. Only Strovolos and Aglandja maintained separate physical identities, chiefly because of intervening state-owned land. By this time, the old city was increasingly given over to shops and workshops.

In 1955 an armed struggle against the British rule began aiming to unite the island with Greece, Enosis
Enosis
Enosis refers to the movement of the Greek-Cypriot population to incorporate the island of Cyprus into Greece.Similar movements had previously developed in other regions with ethnic Greek majorities such as the Ionian Islands, Crete and the Dodecanese. These regions were eventually incorporated...

. The struggle was led by EOKA
EOKA
EOKA was an anticolonial, antiimperialist nationalist organisation with the ultimate goal of "The liberation of Cyprus from the British yoke". Although not stated in its initial declaration of existence which was printed and distributed on the 1st of April 1955, EOKA also had a target of achieving...

, a Greek Cypriot nationalist military resistance organisation, and supported by the vast majority of Greek Cypriots. The unification with Greece failed and instead the independence of Cyprus was declared in 1960. During the period of the struggle, Nicosia was the scene of violent protests against the British rule.

Independence and division


In 1960 Nicosia became the capital of the Republic of Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, whose constitution was based on the co-operation of the island's two main communities, Greek and Turkish Cypriots. In December 1963, during the aftermath of a constitutional crisis, skirmishes
Cypriot intercommunal violence
Cypriot intercommunal violence refers to periods of sectarian conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the island of Cyprus from 1963 to 1974.-Background:...

 broke out between Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. Nicosia was divided into Greek and Turkish Cypriot quarters. The dividing line, which cuts through the city, was named Green line because the pen used by the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 officer to draw the line on a city map was green.

On the 15th July 1974, there was an attempted coup d'état led by the Greek military junta to unite the island with Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. The coup ousted president Makarios III
Makarios III
Makarios III , born Andreas Christodolou Mouskos , was the archbishop and primate of the autocephalous Cypriot Orthodox Church and the first President of the Republic of Cyprus ....

 and replaced him with pro-enosis
Enosis
Enosis refers to the movement of the Greek-Cypriot population to incorporate the island of Cyprus into Greece.Similar movements had previously developed in other regions with ethnic Greek majorities such as the Ionian Islands, Crete and the Dodecanese. These regions were eventually incorporated...

 nationalist Nikos Sampson
Nikos Sampson
Nikos Sampson was the de facto president of Cyprus who succeeded Archbishop Makarios, President of Cyprus, in 1974. Sampson was a journalist and a member of EOKA, which rose against the British colonial administration, seeking Enosis of the island of Cyprus with Greece...

.

On the 20th July 1974, the Turkish army invaded
Turkish invasion of Cyprus
The Turkish invasion of Cyprus, launched on 20 July 1974, was a Turkish military invasion in response to a Greek military junta backed coup in Cyprus...

 the island on the pretext of restoring the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus. However, even after the restoration of constitutional order and the return of Archbishop Makarios III to Cyprus in December 1974, the Turkish troops remained on the island occupying the northeastern portion of the island. The invasion was given the codename Operation Attila
Operation Attila
Operation Attila may refer to:*Operation Attila , a plan for the Nazi occupation of Vichy France*Operation Atilla, actions of the Turkish armed forces during the invasion of Cyprus...

 and included two phases.

The second phase of the Turkish invasion was performed on the 14th August 1974, where the Turkish army advanced their positions, eventually capturing a total of 37% of Cypriot territory including the northern part of Nicosia and the cities of Kyrenia
Kyrenia
Kyrenia is a town on the northern coast of Cyprus, noted for its historic harbour and castle. Internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyrenia has been under Turkish control since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974...

 and Famagusta
Famagusta
Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus and is capital of the Famagusta District. It is located east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour of the island.-Name:...

. The fighting left the island with a massive refugee problem. Out of a population of 600,000, an estimated 200,000 Greek-Cypriots had been uprooted and forced to flee south of the Attila line
United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus
The United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus runs for more than along what is known as the Green Line and has an area of . The zone partitions the island of Cyprus into a southern area effectively controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus , and the northern area...

, while an estimated 60,000 Turkish-Cypriots remained south of the Attila line, uncertain of their fate.

On February 13, 1975 the Turkish Cypriot community declared the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus
Turkish Federated State of Cyprus
Turkish Federated State of Cyprus in Turkish. The state which is occurred between 1975 and 1983.The UN General Secretary came to Cyprus on 25–26 December 1974, and demanded that bilateral talks be initiated between the two communities...

 in the area occupied by Turkish forces. On November 15, 1983, Turkish Cypriots proclaimed their independence as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

The Turkish invasion, the continuous occupation of Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 as well as the self-declaration of independence of the TRNC have been condemned by several United Nations Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council. The Security Council is reaffirming their condemnation every year.

Municipalities



The Nicosia Municipality
Nicosia Municipality
Nicosia Municipality , is the municipal government which is responsible for all the municipal duties of Nicosia.-History:The municipal council was elected according to the Municipal Ordinance of 1882, and the District Commissioner with one Greek and one Turkish adviser undertook municipal affairs...

 is responsible for all the municipal duties and responsibility on the southern part of city. The Nicosia Turkish Municipality
Nicosia Turkish Municipality
Nicosia Turkish Municipality , is the governing body of North Nicosia. It was established in 1958 and was recognized by Article 173 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. After 1974, it became the municipality of North Nicosia. The current mayor is Cemal Metin Bulutoğluları.- External links...

, founded in 1958, carried out municipal duties on the northern part of city.

Nicosia Municipality


South Nicosia is political, economic and cultural centre of the Republic of Cyprus. Greater Nicosia is subdivided into seven municipalities, but the metropolitan authority is the Municipality of Nicosia itself – within whose boundaries the Constitution states that the main government buildings and headquarters must be situated. The other municipalities in the city are Strovolos
Strovolos
Strovolos is a municipality of Nicosia. With a population of near 70,000, it is the second biggest municipality of Cyprus, after Limassol, and the biggest municipality of Nicosia...

, Lakatamia, Latsia
Latsia
Latsia , once a small village on the south east outskirts of Nicosia is today one of the largest and most populous suburbs of the city. It hosts the new Nicosia General Hospital, the new GSP Stadium and the new campus of the University of Cyprus....

, Aglandjia, Engomi
Engomi
This article is about the suburb of Nicosia. For the ancient settlement near Famagusta, see: EnkomiEngomi is a suburb of the Cypriot capital Nicosia. It has a population of around 13,600 . It is a mainly residential neighbourhood with many large villas...

, Agios Dhometios and the newly formed (as of 2011) Geri
Geri
Geri can refer to:*Geri , village in Cyprus*Geri, wolf in Norse mythology from the story of Geri and Freki*Geri Allen , American jazz pianist and music producer...

 & Tseri
Tseri
Tseri is a suburb in Cyprus to the south of the Cypriot capital, Nicosia. The region had a population about of 300 people before 1974. Its inhabitants are known as "Tseriotis" or "Tserkotis" for males and "Tseriotissa" or "Tserkotissa" for females...

.

According to the constitution of Cyprus Nicosia Municipality was divided into a Greek and Turkish sector with two Mayors: a representative of the Greek
Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots are the ethnic Greek population of Cyprus, forming the island's largest ethnolinguistic community at 77% of the population. Greek Cypriots are mostly members of the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 community which was the majority, and a second one representing the Turkish
Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots are the ethnic Turks and members of the Turkish-speaking ethnolinguistic community of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The term is used to refer explicitly to the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, whose Ottoman Turkish forbears colonised the island in 1571...

 community. The Mayors and the members of the Council were appointed by the President of the Republic. Since 1986, the Mayors and members of the Council are elected. The Mayor and the Municipal Councillors are elected by direct popular suffrage but into separate ballots – one for the Mayor and the other for all the Councillors. Municipal elections are held every five years.

The Municipality of Nicosia is now headed by the Mayor, who is Eleni Mavrou
Eleni Mavrou
Eleni Mavrou is the mayor of Nicosia, Cyprus. She was elected in December 2006 becoming the first female mayor of Cyprus's capital. Born in Kyrenia in 1961, her family was forced to leave their house in 1974 due to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and since then has been residing in Nicosia.-...

 (former lagilator of the communist party
Communist party
A political party described as a Communist party includes those that advocate the application of the social principles of communism through a communist form of government...

 AKEL, supported by her own political party, socialist party EDEK and the Democratic Party  and the council composed of 26 councilors, one of who is Deputy Mayor.

The Mayor and the Councillors exercise all the powers vested in them by the Municipal Corporation Law. Sub-committees consisting of members of the Municipal Council act only on an advisory level and according to the procedures and regulations issued by the Council.

The Mayor is the executive authority of the Municipality, exercising overall control and managing the Municipal Council. The Council is responsible for appointing personnel employed by the Municipality. All municipalities in the Republic of Cyprus are members of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities. The executive Committee is the governing organ of the Union. This Committee is appointed from among the representatives of the Municipalities for a term of two and a half years. The Mayor of Nicosia is the President of the Union and the Chairman of the Executive Committee.

Nicosia Turkish Municipality


The first attempt to establish a Nicosia Turkish Municipality
Nicosia Turkish Municipality
Nicosia Turkish Municipality , is the governing body of North Nicosia. It was established in 1958 and was recognized by Article 173 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. After 1974, it became the municipality of North Nicosia. The current mayor is Cemal Metin Bulutoğluları.- External links...

 was made in 1958. In October 1959, the British Colonial Administration passed the Turkish Municipality Committees law. In 1960 with the declaration of independence of Cyprus, the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus gave Turkish Cypriots the right to establish their own municipality. As negotiations between the two sides to establish separate municipalities failed in 1962, implementing legislation was never passed. Since the complete division of Nicosia following the Turkish Invasion in 1974, the Nicosia Turkish Municipality has become the de facto local authority of northern Nicosia. The Nicosia Turkish Municipality is a member the Union of Cyprus Turkish Municipalities. The current mayor is Cemal Metin Bulutoğluları
Cemal Metin Bulutoglulari
Cemal Metin Bulutoğluları is the mayor of the capital of Northern Cyprus, North Nicosia's Nicosia Turkish Municipality . He was born in Nicosia. He lived his childhood in Ortaköy Marmara neighbourhood and graduated from the Nicosia Turkish High School in 1979. He graduated from Eastham College of...

 from National Unity Party (UBP).

Culture



Museums


The Cyprus Archaeological Museum in Nicosia is the biggest archaeological museum in the country. It is home to the richest and largest collection of Cypriot antiques in the world. These consist exclusively of objects discovered on the island. The exhibits have been stored in the same building outside the city walls of Nicosia ever since the establishment of the museum in 1882 by the British administration reigning the island at that time.

The Ethnographic Museum hosts the largest collection of ethnographic artifacts in the country which includes costumes, pottery, lace, metalwork, woodcarving and paintings.

In old Nicosia, the Ethnological Museum (Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios Mansion
Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios Mansion
The Hadjigeorgakis Korensios Mansion is situated near the Archbishopric, in the neighbourhood of Saint Antonios in Nicosia, Cyprus, where the wealthy notables of the Greek community traditionally used to live.-Overview:...

) is the most important example of urban architecture of the last century of Ottoman domination which survives in old Nicosia. Today, the mansion which was awarded the Europa Nostra
Europa Nostra
Europa Nostra, the pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage, is the representative platform of 250 heritage NGOs active in 45 countries across Europe...

 prize for its exemplary renovation work, functions as a museum where a collection of artifacts from the Byzantine, Medieval and Ottoman era are displayed.

Performing Arts


Nicosia offers a wide variety of musical and theatrical events, organized either by the municipality or independent organizations.

THOC (Theatrical Organization of Cyprus) was founded in 1971 and is a member of the European Theatre Convention
European Theatre Convention
-Programs :According to its website, the programs of the European Theatre Convention include the following programs :-Current members:-Board and representative:...

. It hosts a wide variety of theatre shows on a regular basis at the Latsia Municipal Theatre, Nea Skini and Theatro Ena.

Skali Aglantzias is a multifunctional space in the Scali area of Aglantzia. It is made up of an open ­ air square, amphitheatre, exhibition space, restaurant & bar. It hosts many shows, concerts and cultural events.

The Satirical Theatre of Cyprus was founded in October 1983 by actor and director Vladimiros Kafkaridis. It is the first Free Theatre to be supported financially by the government. It is also the only drama school in Cyprus.

Strovolos Municipal Theatre is located in the municipality's main avenue. It has hosted many charitable, cultural and educational events, as well as theatre shows, concerts, operas, ballets both of national and international standing.

Notable cultural events are also frequently hosted by the Ammochostos Gate Cultural Centre, the Municipal Arts Centre, the Municipal Centre of Contemporary Social and Cultural Services and many others.

In June 2011, Nicosia launched it's campaign to become the European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

 in 2017.

Education


Nicosia has a large student community as it is the seat of five universities, the University of Cyprus
University of Cyprus
The University of Cyprus is a public coeducational university established by the Republic of Cyprus in 1989. It admitted its first students in 1992 and has currently approximately 6000 students .-History:...

 (UCY), the University of Nicosia
University of Nicosia
The University of Nicosia is the largest private university in Cyprus, with campuses based in the three largest cities in Cyprus: Nicosia, Lemesos and Larnaca. It was formally known, until September 2007, as Intercollege...

, the European University, the Open University of Cyprus
Open University of Cyprus
The Open University of Cyprus , in Lefkosia , is the only university in Cyprus dedicated to distance learning.-Methodology:...

 and Frederick University
Frederick university
Frederick University is one of the largest private universities operating in the Republic of Cyprus a full member state of the European Union. It is well respected both nationally and internationally for offering undergraduate and graduate programs of study that lead to recognized degrees...

.

Economy


Nicosia is the financial and business heart of Cyprus. The city hosts the headquarters of all Cypriot banks namely Marfin Popular Bank
Marfin Popular Bank
Marfin Popular Bank is the second largest banking group in Cyprus behind the Bank of Cyprus. Trading on the island as Laiki Bank , it currently holds a 15% share of the market in loans and a 19% share of deposits. Its shares are listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange and the Athens Stock Exchange...

 (formerly known as Popular Bank), Bank of Cyprus
Bank of Cyprus
Bank of Cyprus is a major Cypriot financial institution. In terms of market capitalisation it is the country's second largest company.As of December 31, 2005, the Group's Total Assets reached C£13,22bn and the Group's Shareholders' Funds were C£818mn . At 30 September 2008, the Group's Total...

, the Hellenic Bank
Hellenic Bank
Hellenic Bank Public Company Ltd , is the third largest bank on the island of Cyprus with a 10.47% share of deposits and 7.92% of the loans market. Its shares are listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange....

. Further, the Central Bank of Cyprus
Central Bank of Cyprus
The Central Bank of Cyprus , is the central bank of the Republic of Cyprus, located in Nicosia. It was established in 1963. Its current governor is Mr. Athanasios Orphanides...

  is located in the Acropolis area of the Cypriot capital.

A number of international businesses base their Cypriot headquarters in Nicosia, such as the big four audit firms PWC
PwC
PricewaterhouseCoopers is a global professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest professional services firm measured by revenues and one of the "Big Four" accountancy firms....

, Deloitte, KPMG
KPMG
KPMG is one of the largest professional services networks in the world and one of the Big Four auditors, along with Deloitte, Ernst & Young and PwC. Its global headquarters is located in Amstelveen, Netherlands....

 and Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is one of the largest professional services networks in the world and one of the "Big Four" accountancy firms, along with Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers ....

. International technology companies such as NCR
NCR
NCR can refer to several topics:* nCr as an abbreviation of the mathematics formula "from n choose r"* NCR Corporation, a technology company specializing in solutions for businesses, formerly known as National Cash Register...

 and TSYS
TSYS
Total System Services, Inc. is the largest processor of merchant acquirers and bank credit card issuers. Creators of TS2 and TS1. TSYS is located in Columbus, Georgia, United States. TSYS acquired a leading prepaid card processor, Clarity Payment Solutions, Inc...

 have their regional headquarters in Nicosia. The city is also home to local financial newspapers such as the Financial Mirror
Financial Mirror
The Financial Mirror is the top-selling daily business newspaper in Cyprus. The main paper is published in English but a supplement in Greek is also included....

 and Stockwatch.

Cyprus Airways
Cyprus Airways
Cyprus Airways is the national airline of Cyprus, a public limited company with its head offices located in the capital of the island, Nicosia. It operates scheduled services to 41 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and the Gulf. It flies from both airports of the island, Larnaca and Paphos,...

 has its head offices in the entrance of Makariou Avenue.

According to a recent UBS survey in August 2011, Nicosia is the wealthiest per capita city of the Eastern Mediterranean
Eastern Mediterranean
The Eastern Mediterranean is a term that denotes the countries geographically to the east of the Mediterranean Sea. This region is also known as Greater Syria or the Levant....

 and the tenth richest city in the world by purchasing power in 2011.".

Climate


Nicosia has a hot subtropical semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 BSh) with long, hot and dry summers with relatively wet and mild winters.

Transportation


Nicosia is linked with other major cities in Cyprus via a modern motorway network
Motorways and roads in Cyprus
Since the arrival of the first motor cars on the island in 1907, Cyprus has developed one of the most modern road networks in Europe. According to 2002 statistics, the road network in the free areas of Cyprus consists of about 7,206 km of paved and 4,387 km of unpaved roads...

. The A1
A1 motorway (Cyprus)
The A1 motorway marked the beginning of an ambitious government project to link all the main cities on the island with modern 4 lane highways. It is 73 km long and is free of any at-grade intersections...

 connects Nicosia with Limassol
Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

 in the south with the A6
A6 motorway (Cyprus)
The A6 highway marked the ending of an ambitious government project to link all the main cities on the island with modern four-lane, high-speed highways. It is 66 km long and is free of any at-grade intersections...

 going from Limassol onto Paphos
Paphos
Paphos , sometimes referred to as Pafos, is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about west of the...

.
The A2
A2 motorway (Cyprus)
thumb|leftThe A2 motorway branches off the A1 at Pera Chorio-Nisou and connects to the A3. It is locally referred to as the Nicosia - Larnaca motorway . It is also called "the tube" due to its mostly straight with a very limited number of exits....

 links Nicosia with the south eastern city of Larnaca
Larnaca
Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

 with the A3
A3 motorway (Cyprus)
The A3 motorway is a modern motorway linking Larnaca International Airport, the largest airport in Cyprus, and Ayia Napa, a very popular clubbing paradise. It is 55 km long. The road was built in five phases and took about 10 years to be completed...

 going from Larnaca to Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa is a resort at the far eastern end of the southern coast of Cyprus, famous for its sandy beaches. In recent years, apart from being a family holiday destination, it has become a 'party capital' together with Ibiza, Rimini and Mykonos...

. The A9
A9 motorway (Cyprus)
A9 is a highway under construction which is planned to connect Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, with the Troödos Mountains. Currently this highway is completed until the small village of Dhenia. The project has stopped until the safety of planers will be established...

 connects Nicosia to the west Nicosia district villages and the Troodos mountains
Troodos Mountains
Troodos is the biggest mountain range of Cyprus, located in the center of the island. Troodos' highest peak is Mount Olympus at 1,952 metres.The Troodos mountain range stretches across most of the western side of Cyprus...

.

Public transport within the city is currently served by a new and reliable bus service. For more information about bus routes in Nicosia refer to OSEL. Many taxi companies operate in Nicosia. Fares are regulated by law and taxi drivers are obliged to use a taximeter
Taximeter
A taximeter is a mechanical or electronic device installed in taxicabs and auto rickshaws that calculates passenger fares based on a combination of distance travelled and waiting time...

.

In 2010, as part of the Nicosia Integrated Mobility Plan, a pre-feasibility study for a proposed tram netowork has taken place and sponsored by the Ministry of Communications and Works. The study compared two scenarios, with and without the operation of a tramway in terms of emitted polluting loads. The study realised that the reduction in the pollutants per transported passenger for the scenario with tramway, fluctuates from 5-10% and reaches up to 90% specifically in the central roads of Nicosia.

In 2011, the Nicosia Municipality introduced the Bike in Action scheme, a bicycle sharing system which covers the Greater Nicosia area. The scheme is run by the Inter-Municipal Bicycle Company of Nicosia (DEPL). While the bike-lane network is being upgraded, the scheme aims to serve a large portion of the population, university students and tourist groups in their movement to and from downtown. The scheme has 27 docking stations spread across seven municipalities and involves 315 bikes which people can borrow from any designated station and return to any other station of their choosing. Specifically the Nicosia Municipality has installed 100 bikes in 5 stations, the Aglandjia Municipality 50 bikes at 4 stations, the Municipality of Strovolos
Strovolos
Strovolos is a municipality of Nicosia. With a population of near 70,000, it is the second biggest municipality of Cyprus, after Limassol, and the biggest municipality of Nicosia...

 80 bikes at 8 stations, the Municipality of Dali
Dali, Cyprus
Dali is a large village in Cyprus, located south east of the capital Nicosia and close to the ancient city of Idalion. By the 2001 census it had a total population of 5,834.Now in 2007 Dali has reached the population of 7,564....

 20 cycles at 3 stations, the Municipality of Ayios Dhometios 20 cycles at 2 stations, the Municipality of Latsia
Latsia
Latsia , once a small village on the south east outskirts of Nicosia is today one of the largest and most populous suburbs of the city. It hosts the new Nicosia General Hospital, the new GSP Stadium and the new campus of the University of Cyprus....

 15 bikes at 2 station and the Municipality of Engomi 30 cycles at 3 stations. People do not have to register to use the bikes as long as they have a credit or debit card in order to pay a €150 security deposit. The deposit is paid back within 24 hours of returning the bike.

There is currently no train network in Cyprus however plans for the creation of an intercity railway are currently under way. The first railway line on the island was the Cyprus Government Railway
Cyprus Government Railway
The Cyprus Government Railway was a narrow gauge railway network that operated in Cyprus from October 1905 to December 1951. With a total length of , there were 39 stations, stops and halts, the most prominent of which served Famagusta, Prastio Mesaoria, Angastina, Trachoni, Nicosia,...

 which operated from 1905 to 1951. There were 39 stations, stops and halts, the most prominent of which served Famagusta, Prastio Mesaoria, Angastina, Trachoni, Nicosia, Kokkinotrimithia, Morphou, Kalo Chorio and Evrychou. It was closed down due to financial reasons.

Pre-Independence (1882–1959)

  • Christodoulos Severis, 15 November 1882–31 July 1888.
  • Achilleas Liassides, 1 August 1888–10 April 1906.
  • Antonios Theodotou, 8 January 1888–10 April 1906.
  • Mehmet Şevket Bey, 11 April 1908–31 March 1911.
  • Antonios Theodotou, 1924–1926
  • George Markides, 6 April 1926–31 March 1929.
  • Themistoclis Dervis, 5 April 1929–28 September 1946.
  • Ioannis Clerides, 1 June 1946–31 May 1949 (Last elected Mayor until 1986).
  • Themistoclis Dervis, 1 June 1949–18 December 1959.

Post-Independence (1959-1974)

  • Diomedes Skettos, 1959–1960.
  • George M. Spanos, 1960–1962; 1963–1964.
  • Odysseas Ioannides, 1964–1970.
  • Lellos Demetriades, December 1971–July 1974 (dismissed by the July 15 Coup).

(South Nicosia)

  • Christoforos Kithreotis, August 1974.
  • Lellos Demetriades, October 1974–2001 (Elected in 1986; reelected in 1991 and 1996).
  • Michalis Zampelas
    Michalis Zampelas
    Michalis Zampelas is a businessman and politician. He was the mayor of Nicosia from 2002–2006 and is the general manager of PricewaterhouseCoopers Cyprus...

    , 2002–2006.
  • Eleni Mavrou
    Eleni Mavrou
    Eleni Mavrou is the mayor of Nicosia, Cyprus. She was elected in December 2006 becoming the first female mayor of Cyprus's capital. Born in Kyrenia in 1961, her family was forced to leave their house in 1974 due to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and since then has been residing in Nicosia.-...

    , 2007–present.

Sports


Football


Football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 is the most popular sport in Cyprus, and Nicosia is home of three major teams of the island; APOEL, Omonia
AC Omonia
Athletic Club Omonoia Nicosia is a professional football club that plays in the Cyprus capital city Nicosia. The club was established in 1948 and became a member of the Cyprus Football Association in 1953...

 and Olympiakos
Olympiakos Nicosia
Olympiakos Nicosia is a football club in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia. The club was founded in 1931. It is a founding member of the Cyprus Football Association. The club colors are black and green. Olympiakos's home ground is the New GSP Stadium of 23,400 seat capacity...

. APOEL and Omonia dominate Cypriot football
Football in Cyprus
Football in Cyprus is by far the most popular sport.Short of some sporadic surprise wins versus higher-ranked countries, mostly on home soil, the national team has not enjoyed any success of note...

. There are also many other football clubs in Nicosia and the suburbs.
GSP Stadium is the largest football stadium in Nicosia.

Other sports


Nicosia is also the home for many clubs for basketball, handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

 and other sports. APOEL and Omonia have basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 and volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 sections and Keravnos
Keravnos
Keravnos Strovolos is one of the powerhouses of Cypriot basketball. Founded in 1926, it is based in the Nicosia suburb of Strovolos. In the past, the club also had a football team.-History:...

 is one of the major basketball teams of the island. The Gymnastic Club Pancypria (GSP), the owner of the Neo GSP Stadium
Neo GSP Stadium
The Pancyprian Gymnastic Association Stadium is a football stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus. Although small by international standards, it is the largest stadium in Cyprus, with a capacity of 22,859 and was built in 1999. It serves as the home stadium for the Nicosia Clubs of APOEL, Olympiakos Nicosia...

, is one of the major athletics clubs of the island. Also, all teams in the Futsal
Futsal
Futsal is a variant of association football that is played on a smaller pitch and mainly played indoors. Its name is a portmanteau of the Portuguese futebol de salão and the Spanish fútbol de salón , which can be translated as "hall football" or "indoor football"...

 First Division are from Nicosia.

Venues


Nicosia has some of the biggest venues in the island; The Neo GSP Stadium
Neo GSP Stadium
The Pancyprian Gymnastic Association Stadium is a football stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus. Although small by international standards, it is the largest stadium in Cyprus, with a capacity of 22,859 and was built in 1999. It serves as the home stadium for the Nicosia Clubs of APOEL, Olympiakos Nicosia...

, the biggest in Cyprus, with capacity of 23,400 is the home for the national team
Cyprus national football team
The Cyprus national football team represents Cyprus in association football and is controlled by the Cyprus Football Association, the governing body for football in Cyprus. Cyprus' home ground is the GSP Stadium in Nicosia and the current coach is Nikos Nioplias...

, APOEL, Olympiakos
Olympiakos Nicosia
Olympiakos Nicosia is a football club in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia. The club was founded in 1931. It is a founding member of the Cyprus Football Association. The club colors are black and green. Olympiakos's home ground is the New GSP Stadium of 23,400 seat capacity...

 and Omonia
AC Omonia
Athletic Club Omonoia Nicosia is a professional football club that plays in the Cyprus capital city Nicosia. The club was established in 1948 and became a member of the Cyprus Football Association in 1953...

. The other big football stadium in Nicosia is Makario Stadium
Makario Stadium
Makario Stadium is an all seater Multi-purpose stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus. It was the largest and main sports venue of the capital up to the construction of the new GSP stadium in 1999. At present it is mostly used for football matches and is the home ground of Digenis Morphou and Ethnikos Assia....

 with capacity of 16,000.
The Eleftheria Indoor Hall
Eleftheria Indoor Hall
The Eleftheria Athletic Center , officially named Tassos Papadopoulos Eleftheria Indoor Hall The hall is used mainly for basketball events, although can be used for badminton, gymnastics, karate, taekwondo, handball, squash, volleyball, judo, table tennis...

 is the biggest basketball stadium in Cyprus, with capacity of 6,500 seats and is the home for
the national team
Cyprus national basketball team
The Cypriot national basketball team is the national team of Cyprus. It is run by the Cyprus Basketball Federation. It is affiliated to FIBA, in the FIBA Europe zone.- History :The team participates at international and European tournaments...

, APOEL
APOEL B.C.
APOEL is a professional basketball team from Nicosia, Cyprus. APOEL is one of the most successful basketball clubs in Cyprus by winning 10 Championships, 11 Cups and 10 Supercups. APOEL B.C. is part of the APOEL multisport club.-History:...

 and Omonia
AC Omonia
Athletic Club Omonoia Nicosia is a professional football club that plays in the Cyprus capital city Nicosia. The club was established in 1948 and became a member of the Cyprus Football Association in 1953...

.
The Lefkotheo indoor arena
Lefkotheo
The Lefkotheo arena was the first major indoor sports hall to be constructed in Cyprus. Its construction was finished in 1980, and it is located next to the Makario Stadium with which it shares a common car park...

 is the volleyball stadium for APOEL and Omonia.

International and European events


Nicosia hosted the 2000 ISSF World Cup Final
2000 ISSF World Cup Final
For the 2000 ISSF World Cup in the seventeen Olympic shooting events, the World Cup Final was held in October 2000 in Nicosia, Cyprus for the shotgun events, and in November 2000 in Munich, Germany for the rifle, pistol and running target events.-Shotgun:...

 shooting events for the shotgun. Also the city hosted two basketball events; the European Saporta Cup in 1997 and the 2005 FIBA Europe All Star Game in the Eleftheria Indoor Hall
Eleftheria Indoor Hall
The Eleftheria Athletic Center , officially named Tassos Papadopoulos Eleftheria Indoor Hall The hall is used mainly for basketball events, although can be used for badminton, gymnastics, karate, taekwondo, handball, squash, volleyball, judo, table tennis...

. Another event which was hosted in Nicosia were the Games of the Small States of Europe
Games of the Small States of Europe
The Games of the Small States of Europe is a biennial, multi-sport event, launched by the Republic of San Marino, organized by and featuring the National Olympic Committees of eight European small states since 1985...

 in 1989 and 2009.

Famous Nicosians

  • Tassos Papadopoulos
    Tassos Papadopoulos
    Tassos Nikolaou Papadopoulos was a Cypriot politician. He served as the fifth President of the Republic of Cyprus from February 28, 2003 to February 28, 2008.His parents were Nicolas and Aggeliki from Assia. He was the first of three children...

    , ex-president of the Republic of Cyprus (2003–2008).
  • Glafkos Klerides
    Glafkos Klerides
    Glafcos Ioannou Clerides is a Greek-Cypriot politician and the fourth President of the Republic of Cyprus.Clerides was the eldest son of the lawyer and statesman Ioannis Clerides....

    , president of the Republic of Cyprus (1993–2003).
  • George Vasiliou
    George Vasiliou
    Georgios Vasos Vassiliou was the third President of the Republic of Cyprus from 1988 to 1993. He was also the founder and leader of the Cypriot United Democrats party and a highly successful businessman....

    , president of the Republic of Cyprus (1988–1993).
  • Ioannis Kasoulides
    Ioannis Kasoulides
    Ioannis Kasoulides is a Cypriot politician and member of European Parliament.He is member of European People's Party and Democratic Rally He was elected as member of Cyprus Parliament on 1991 and also served as minister of the government of Cyprus for the period 1993-2003.Ioannis Kasoulides is...

    , Member of the European Parliament
    Member of the European Parliament
    A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

    .
  • Kıbrıslı Mehmed Kamil Pasha
    Kibrisli Mehmed Kamil Pasha
    Kâmil Pasha , also spelled as Kiamil Pasha was an Ottoman statesman of Turkish Cypriot origin in the late 19th century and early 20th century, who became, as aside regional or international posts within the Ottoman state structure, grand vizier of the Empire during four different periods.He was...

    , Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
  • Fazıl Küçük
    Fazil Küçük
    Fazıl Küçük was the first Vice President of the Republic of Cyprus.Fazıl Küçük, the son of a farmer, was born in Nicosia in 1906. After graduating from the Turkish High School in Nicosia, Küçük went on to study medicine at the Universities of Istanbul, Lausanne and Paris...

     former vice president of the Republic of Cyprus (1960–1963).
  • Benon Sevan
    Benon Sevan
    Benon Vahe Sevan was the head of the United Nations' Oil-for-Food Programme, established in 1996 and charged with preventing Iraq's government from using the proceeds from oil exports for anything but food, medicine and other items to benefit the civilian population.Born into an Armenian-Cypriot...

    , Armenian ex-head of UN Oil for Food program.
  • Nicolas Economou
    Nicolas Economou
    Nicolas Economou was a Cypriot composer and pianist born in Nicosia, Cyprus.A precociously gifted pianist, Economou came to international attention at the 1969 Tchaikovsky Competition when he was aged 16. After studying at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow he eventually moved via Düsseldorf...

    , composer.
  • Alkinoos Ioannidis
    Alkinoos Ioannidis
    Alkinoos Ioannidis is a Greek-Cypriot composer, lyricist, singer and orchestrator.He was born in Nicosia on 19 September 1969. His artistic family, with a painter father and poet brother was a source of inspiration for him. He first wanted to study drums, but couldn't due to the lack of a drum...

    , singer.
  • Michalis Hatzigiannis
    Michalis Hatzigiannis
    Michael Hatzigiannis is a popular Greek Cypriot recording artist. From 2000 to 2009, Hatzigiannis has received over 30 certifications in Greece alone, making him one of most successful artists of the decade. Hatzigiannis is also known for representing Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998...

    , singer.
  • Stavros Konstantinou
    Stavros Konstantinou
    Stavros Konstantinou is a Greek Cypriot singer who rose to popularity after winning Super Idol, the Greek version of Pop Idol, shown by MEGA TV in 2004, in its only season under that name...

    , singer, winner of Greek Super Idol
    Super Idol
    Super Idol was the first Greek version of the British television hit show Pop Idol. It was a talent contest to find a pop performer. The first series of the show, from February 8 to June 17, 2004, was hosted by Themis Georgantas and the winner was Stavros Konstantinou.Due to low ratings Mega...

    .
  • Alparslan Türkeş
    Alparslan Türkes
    Alparslan Türkeş was a Cypriot-born Turkish nationalist politician who was the founder and former president of the Nationalist Movement Party party...

    , a Turkish nationalist politician, who served as a Deputy Prime Minister
    Deputy Prime Minister
    A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some counties, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different, though both...

     of Turkey
  • Giannos Kranidiotis
    Giannos Kranidiotis
    Giannos Kranidiotis was a Greek diplomat and politician....

    , a Greek diplomat and politician
  • Mick Karn
    Mick Karn
    Andonis Michaelides , better known as Mick Karn, was an English multi-instrumentalist musician and songwriter, who came to fame as the bassist for the art rock band Japan, from 1974 to 1982....

    , bassist, singer.

Twinnings with Southern Nicosia, controlled by the Republic of Cyprus

Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 Schwerin
Schwerin
Schwerin is the capital and second-largest city of the northern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The population, as of end of 2009, was 95,041.-History:...

, Germany, since 1974 Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, since 1988 Odessa
Odessa
Odessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 .The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement,...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, since 1996 Shiraz
Shiraz, Iran
Shiraz is the sixth most populous city in Iran and is the capital of Fars Province, the city's 2009 population was 1,455,073. Shiraz is located in the southwest of Iran on the Roodkhaneye Khoshk seasonal river...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, since 1999
Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, since 2004 Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

, China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, since 2004 Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, Spain, since 2004 Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, since 2004
Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, since 2004 Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, since 2004 Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

, since 2004 Kumanovo
Kumanovo
Kumanovo is a city in the Republic of Macedonia and is the seat of Kumanovo Municipality which is the largest municipality in the country. Municipal institutions include a city council, mayor and other administrative bodies.-Name:...

, Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...


Twinnings with Northern Nicosia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Municipality

Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, since 1988 Adana
Adana
Adana is a city in southern Turkey and a major agricultural and commercial center. The city is situated on the Seyhan River, 30 kilometres inland from the Mediterranean, in south-central Anatolia...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 Bursa, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 since 1990

Collaborations

Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Russian Federation, since 2000 Nicosia, Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, since 2000 Qingdao
Qingdao
' also known in the West by its postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a major city with a population of over 8.715 million in eastern Shandong province, Eastern China. Its built up area, made of 7 urban districts plus Jimo city, is home to about 4,346,000 inhabitants in 2010.It borders Yantai to the...

, China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, since 2001
Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, since 2002, 2003 Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, since 2003

Gallery



For the Italian town, see: Nicosia, Sicily. Also see: Nicosia (disambiguation)
Nicosia (disambiguation)
-Places:Cyprus*Nicosia, a municipality in Nicosia District and capital of the Republic of Cyprus*North Nicosia, a municipality in Nicosia District and capital of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus-Administrative units:...

.


Nicosia (ˌnɪkəˈsiːə ) from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided
Divided cities
A divided city is one which, as a consequence of political changes or border shifts, presently constitutes two separate entities. Listed are the localities and the state they belonged to at the time of division...

 capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line
United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus
The United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus runs for more than along what is known as the Green Line and has an area of . The zone partitions the island of Cyprus into a southern area effectively controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus , and the northern area...

. It is located near the center of the island, on the banks of the Pedieos River.

Nicosia is the capital and seat of government of the Republic of Cyprus. The northern part
North Nicosia
North Nicosia or Northern Nicosia , is the capital and largest city of the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It is the northern half of Nicosia, and governed by the Nicosia Turkish Municipality...

 of the city functions as the capital of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Northern Cyprus or North Cyprus , officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , is a self-declared state that comprises the northeastern part of the island of Cyprus...

, a disputed breakaway region whose claim to independent statehood is recognized only by Turkey, and which the rest of the international community considers as occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus since 1974.

Despite the division Nicosia has managed to become a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city, rich in history and culture that combines its historic past with the amenities of a modern city.

Through the years Nicosia has established itself as the island's financial capital and its main international business centre. Nicosia is consistently ranked as one of the richest cities in the world in per capita income terms.
In the past few years Nicosia has seen remarkable progress regarding its infrastructure with the most remarkable being the central Eleftheria square
Eleftheria square
Eleftheria square , is the main square in central Nicosia, Cyprus. It forms the intersection of Ledra and Onasagorou streets with Stasinou, Omirou, Kostaki Pantelidi, Konstandinou Palaiologou and Evagorou avenues. Prior to 1974 the centre of city was considered to be Faneromeni Square...

 currently in progress.

Landmarks



Ledra Street
Ledra Street
Ledra Street is a major shopping thoroughfare in central Nicosia, Cyprus, which links North and South Nicosia....

 is in the middle of the walled city. The street has historically been the busiest shopping street of the capital and adjacent streets lead to the most lively part of the old city with narrow streets, boutiques, bars and art-cafés. The street today is a historic monument on its own. It is about 1 km (0.621372736649807 mi) long and connects the south and north parts of the old city. During the EOKA struggle
EOKA
EOKA was an anticolonial, antiimperialist nationalist organisation with the ultimate goal of "The liberation of Cyprus from the British yoke". Although not stated in its initial declaration of existence which was printed and distributed on the 1st of April 1955, EOKA also had a target of achieving...

 that ran from 1955–1959, the street acquired the informal nickname The Murder Mile
Murder mile
Murder Mile is a nickname sometimes given to roads known for high crime rates or military conflict. Such roads include:* Ledra Street, in Nicosia, Cyprus, in the late 1950s* Upper and Lower Clapton Roads in Hackney, London, in the early 2000s...

in reference to the frequent targeting of the British military by nationalist fighters along its course. In 1963, during the outbreak of hostilities between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, following the announcement of amendments to the Cypriot Constitution, Turkish Cypriots withdrew to the northern part of Nicosia which became one of the many Turkish Cypriot enclaves
Turkish Cypriot Enclaves
The Turkish Cypriot enclaves were enclaves inhabited by Turkish Cypriots before the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.-Events leading to the creation of the enclaves:...

 which existed throughout the island. Various streets which ran between the northern and southern part of the city, including Ledra Street, were blockaded. During the Turkish army invasion of Cyprus in 1974, Turkish troops occupied northern Nicosia (as well as the northern part of Cyprus). A buffer zone was established across the island along the ceasefire line to separate the northern Turkish controlled part of the island, and the south. The buffer zone runs through Ledra Street. After many failed attempts on reaching agreement between the two communities, Ledra Street was re-opened on 3 April 2008.

To the east of Ledra Street, Faneromeni Square
Faneromeni Square Nicosia
Faneromeni Square , is an important historical square located within the Venetian walls of Nicosia.It hosts a number of historical buildings and monuments including Faneromeni Church , Faneromeni School , Faneromeni Library and the Marble Mausoleum ....

 was the centre of Nicosia before 1974. It hosts a number of historical buildings and monuments including Faneromeni Church, Faneromeni School, Faneromeni Library and the Marble Mausoleum. Faneromeni Church, is a church built in 1872 in the stead of another church located at the same site, constructed with the remains of La Cava castle and a convent. There rest the archbishop and the other bishops who were executed by the Ottomans in the Saray Square during the 1821 revolt. The Palace of the Archbishop can be found at Archbishop Kyprianos Square. Although it seems very old, it is a wonderful imitation of typical Venetian style, built in 1956. Next to the palace is the late Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 Saint John
St. John's Cathedral
St. John's Cathedral, or Cathedral of St. John, or other variations on the name, with or without the suffix 'the Evangelist, may refer to:In Antigua:*St. John's Cathedral, St. John'sIn Australia:*St John's Cathedral, Brisbane...

 cathedral (1665) with picturesque frescos. The square leads to Onasagorou Street
Onasagorou Street
Onasagorou Street is a major shopping street in central Nicosia that runs from Eleftheria square to Faneromeni School. It has been a fashionable shopping street since the 19th century and is currently the home of many high-priced fashion shops. It is currently one of the most expensive strips of...

, another busy shopping street in the historical centre.

The walls sourrounding the old city have three gates. In The Kyrenia Gate
Kyrenia Gate
The Kyrenia Gate is a gate in the Nicosia walls, in North Nicosia, Cyprus. It was the gate which was used for transport to the northern areas, especially Kyrenia.The gate was built in 1567 by Venetians, as a part of the new city walls...

 which was responsible to the transport to the north, and especially Kyrenia
Kyrenia
Kyrenia is a town on the northern coast of Cyprus, noted for its historic harbour and castle. Internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyrenia has been under Turkish control since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974...

, the Famagusta Gate which was responsible for the transport from Famagusta
Famagusta
Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus and is capital of the Famagusta District. It is located east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour of the island.-Name:...

, Larnaca
Larnaca
Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

 and Limassol
Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

 and Karpasia
Karpasia
Karpasia may refer to:* Karpass Peninsula, the long, finger-like peninsula of northeastern Cyprus* Karpasia , an ancient townsite on the peninsula....

, and the Paphos Gate for transport to the west and especially Paphos
Paphos
Paphos , sometimes referred to as Pafos, is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about west of the...

. All three gates are well-preserved.

In the northern part of the walled city the Selimiye Mosque
Selimiye Mosque (Nicosia)
Selimiye Mosque or Agia Sofia Cathedral, formerly Cathédrale Sainte Sophie, is located in the Turkish controlled northern part of the walled city of Nicosia. It is the main mosque in the city. It is housed in the largest and oldest surviving gothic church in Cyprus possibly constructed on the site...

 is the main mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

, where the great festivals of Bayram
Bayram
Bayram or Bairam or Beyram may refer to:* Bayram , the Turkish word for a festival or celebration* Bayrami , a Sufi order* Public holidays in Azerbaijan-People:* Hacı Bayram-ı Veli, Turkish Sufi...

 and other Moslem gatherings are conducted. It was formerly the cathedral of St. Sophia which was built in the period from 1209 to 1228 AD, over the ruins of a previous building. Other famous mosques are Haydarpasha Mosque
Haydarpasha Mosque
Haydarpasha Mosque/St. Catherine’s Cathedral in Nicosia was originally built by the Lusignans in the 14th century. It has been described by Harry Charles Luke as representing one of the finest examples of Gothic buildings on the island...

 and Arabahmet Mosque
Arabahmet Mosque
Arabahmet Mosque is situated in the city of Nicosia in the northern part of Cyprus. It was built in the late 16th century. The Mosque is named after a commander of the 1571 Ottoman army. The mosque is the tombs of some important persons of the past in its garden....

. The Omerye Mosque in the southern sector is used for the needs of the Muslim immigrants who reside in the city.

The centre of the northern part is Atatürk Square
Atatürk Square
Atatürk Square or Sarayönü is a square in North Nicosia. It is the center of the Turkish part of the city. It was known as "Konak Square" prior to the last years of British sovereignty on the island.The Venetian Column, which was transported from the ruins of Salamis, stands at the square...

 (also known as Saray Square). The square is one of the oldest and most historical places of the city. The square takes its name from the Lusignian Palace (Saray) which stood in the area before it was destroyed by the Venetians in 1489. When the Venetians captured Nicosia, they built the square and placed a ancient Greek column in the middle. The column was moved from the Greek city of Salamis
Salamis
Salamis may refer to* Salamis Island in the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea, near Athens, Greece* Battle of Salamis, fought at Salamis Island in 480 B.C.* Salamis , a genus of butterfly in the family Nymphalidae...

 as a tribute to Venetian rule of Cyprus. When the square was built, on top of the granite column, there was the lion of St. Mark and at the bottom, the coats of arms of noble Venatian families. In 1570, when the Ottomans captured Nicosia, they removed the lion, toppled the column and left it in the courtyard of Sarayonu Mosque. During the Ottoman era
Ottoman Cyprus
The Eyalet of Cyprus was created in 1571, and changed its status frequently. It was a sanjak of the Eyalet of the Archipelago from 1660 to 1703, and again from 1784 onwards; a fief of the Grand Vizier , and again an eyalet for the short period 1745-1748.- Ottoman raids and conquest :Throughout the...

 the Saray Square was the main square of the city. In July 1821, during the preparation of the Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

, with the Sultan's consent, the Ottoman administration in the island under governor Küçük Mehmet, executed 486 Greek Cypriots, accusing them of conspiring with the rebellious Greeks. They included four Bishops, many clergymen and prominent citizens, who were beheaded in Saray Square, while Archbishop Kyprianos was hanged from a mulberry tree in the square. In 1915, the column was re-erected by the British. They replaced the lost St Mark lion with a bronze orb, and decorated the plinth with the dates of the demolishing and re-erection, 1550 and 1915.

The historical centre is clearly present inside the walls, but the modern city has grown beyond.
Presently, the main square of the city is Eleftheria (Freedom) Square
Eleftheria square
Eleftheria square , is the main square in central Nicosia, Cyprus. It forms the intersection of Ledra and Onasagorou streets with Stasinou, Omirou, Kostaki Pantelidi, Konstandinou Palaiologou and Evagorou avenues. Prior to 1974 the centre of city was considered to be Faneromeni Square...

, with the city hall, the post office and the library. The square which is currently under renovation, connects the old city with the new city where one can find the main shopping streets such as the prestigious Stasikratous Street
Stasikratous Street
Stasikratous Street , is a major shopping steet located in the centre of Nicosia, Cyprus.Situated behind Makariou Anevue the street begins at the intersection of Spyrou Kyprianou Avenue and Makariou Anevue. Stasikratous street hosts a number of internationally prestigious brands. It has been...

, Themistokli Dervi Avenue
Themistokli Dervi Avenue
Themistokli Dervi Avenue , is a major shopping steet located in the centre of Nicosia, Cyprus. The avenue hosts a number of internationally prestigious brands. It also includes numerous cafeterias and restaurants. It has been categorised as one of the most famous avenues in the Eastern...

 and Makarios Avenue
Makarios Avenue
Makarios Avenue is an avenue in the centre of Nicosia, Cyprus which covers a distance of 2 km. The Street starts from the Junction of Evagoras Avenue until Aglandjia Avenue and is named after the first President of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios III. In Colonial times Makarios Avenue was named...

.

Nicosia is also known for its fine museums. The Archbishop's Palace contains a Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 museum containing the largest collection of religious icons on the island. Leventis Municipal Museum
Leventio Museum
The Leventio Museum in Nicosia, Cyprus, is home to an extensive collection of Cypriot works include archaeological artifacts, costumes, photographs, medieval pottery, maps and engravings, jewels, and furniture.-History:...

 is the only historical museum of Nicosia and revives the old ways of life in the capital from ancient times up to our days. Other interesting museums include the Folk Art Museum, National Struggle Museum (witnessing the rebellion against the British administration
EOKA
EOKA was an anticolonial, antiimperialist nationalist organisation with the ultimate goal of "The liberation of Cyprus from the British yoke". Although not stated in its initial declaration of existence which was printed and distributed on the 1st of April 1955, EOKA also had a target of achieving...

 in the 1950s), Cyprus Ethnological Museum (House of Dragoman Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios, 18th century) and the Handicrafts Centre.

Nicosia also hosts an Armenian achbishopship, a small Buddhist temple and also the Maronite arbishopship and convent. Cyprus is the second most important country for the Maronite people worldwide after Lebanon. During the Pope's visit to the island in June 2010, the Pontiff resided inside the convent.

Pre-historic


Nicosia has been in continuous habitation since the beginning of the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 2500 years BC, when the first inhabitants settled in the fertile plain of Mesaoria. Nicosia later became a city-state
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

 known as Ledra
Ledra
thumb|right|250px|Map showing the ancient city Kingdoms of CyprusLedra , also spelt Ledrae was an ancient city-kingdom located in the centre of Cyprus where the capital city of Nicosia is today. It was established in 1050 BC but by Hellenistic times it had dwindled to a small village...

 or Ledrae, one of the twelve kingdoms of ancient Cyprus built by Achaeans
Achaeans (tribe)
The Achaeans were one of the four major tribes into which the people of Classical Greece divided themselves. According to the foundation myth formalized by Hesiod, their name comes from Achaeus, the mythical founder of the Achaean tribe, who was supposedly one of the sons of Xuthus, and brother of...

 after the end of the Trojan War
Trojan War
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in many works of Greek literature, including the Iliad...

. Remains of old Ledra today can be found in the Ayia Paraskevi hill in the south east of the city. We only know about one king of Ledra, Onasagoras. The kingdom of Ledra was destroyed early. Under Assyrian rule of Cyprus, Onasagoras, was recorded as paying tribute to Esarhaddon
Esarhaddon
Esarhaddon , was a king of Assyria who reigned 681 – 669 BC. He was the youngest son of Sennacherib and the Aramean queen Naqi'a , Sennacherib's second wife....

 of Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

 in 672 BC. Rebuilt by Lefkonas, son of Ptolemy I around 300 BC, Ledra is described as a small and unimportant town, also known as Lefkotheon. The main activity of the town inhabitants was farming. During this era, Ledra did not have the huge growth that the other Cypriot coastal towns had, which was primarily based on trade.

Roman and Byzantine times


In Byzantine times the town was also referred to as Lefkousia and also as Kallinikisis. In the 4th century AC, the town became the seat of bishopship, with bishop Saint Tryphillius (Trifillios), a student of Saint Spyridon.

After the destruction of Salamis
Salamis, Cyprus
Salamis was an ancient Greek city-state on the east coast of Cyprus, at the mouth of the river Pedieos, 6 km north of modern Famagusta. According to tradition the founder of Salamis was Teucer, son of Telamon, who could not return home after the Trojan war because he had failed to avenge his...

 by Arab raids in 647, the existing capital of Cyprus, Nicosia became the capital of the island around 965, when Cyprus rejoined the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

. The Byzantines moved the islands administration seat to Nicosia, primarily for security reasons as coastal towns were often suffering from raids. Since then it remains as the capital of Cyprus. Nicosia had acquired a castle and was the seat of the Byzantine governor of Cyprus. The last Byzantine governor of the Island was Isaac Comnenus who declared himself emperor of the island and ruled the island from 1183–1191.

Medieval times


On his way to the Holy Land
Holy Land
The Holy Land is a term which in Judaism refers to the Kingdom of Israel as defined in the Tanakh. For Jews, the Land's identifiction of being Holy is defined in Judaism by its differentiation from other lands by virtue of the practice of Judaism often possible only in the Land of Israel...

 during the Third Crusade
Third Crusade
The Third Crusade , also known as the Kings' Crusade, was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin...

 in 1191, Richard I of England
Richard I of England
Richard I was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period...

 fleet was plagued by storms. He himself stopped first at Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 and then at Rhodes
Rhodes
Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

. Three ships, one of which was carrying Queen Joan of Sicily
Joan of England, Queen of Sicily
Joan of England was the seventh child of Henry II of England and his queen consort, Eleanor of Aquitaine.Joan was a younger maternal half-sister of Marie de Champagne and Alix of France...

 and Berengaria of Navarre
Berengaria of Navarre
Berengaria of Navarre was Queen of the English as the wife of King Richard I of England. She was the eldest daughter of King Sancho VI of Navarre and Sancha of Castile. As is the case with many of the medieval queens consort of the Kingdom of England, relatively little is known of her life...

, Richard's bride-to-be. Two of the ships were wrecked off Cyprus, but the ship bearing the Joan and Berengaria made it safely to Limassol. Joan refused to come ashore, fearing she would be captured and held hostage by Isaac Comnenus, who hated all Franks. Her ship sat at anchor for a full week before Richard finally arrived on the 8th of May. Outraged at the treatment of his sister and his future bride Richard invaded.

Richard laid siege to Nicosia, Richard finally met and defeated Isaac Comnenus at Tremetousia. Richard became ruler of the island but sold the island to the Knights Templar
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

. The Knights Templar ruled the island having bought it from Richard the Lionheart for 100.000 gold byzantiums. Their seat was the castle of Nicosia. On Easter day on the 11th of April 1192 the people of Nicosia revolted and drove the Knights Templar off the city. Having driven the Knights Templar away, fearing their return the Nicosians demolished the castle of the city almost to its foundations.

Guy of Lusignan
Guy of Lusignan
Guy of Lusignan was a Poitevin knight, son of Hugh VIII of the prominent Lusignan dynasty. He was king of the crusader state of Jerusalem from 1186 to 1192 by right of marriage to Sibylla of Jerusalem, and of Cyprus from 1192 to 1194...

, King of Jerusalem, bought Cyprus from the Knights Templar and brought many noble men and other adventurers, from France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Jerusalem, Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

, the Principality of Antioch
Principality of Antioch
The Principality of Antioch, including parts of modern-day Turkey and Syria, was one of the crusader states created during the First Crusade.-Foundation:...

 and Kingdom of Armenia
Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia
The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia , also known as the Cilician Armenia, Kingdom of Cilician Armenia or New Armenia, was an independent principality formed during the High Middle Ages by Armenian refugees fleeing the Seljuk invasion of Armenia...

, to the island. Guy shared the land he had bought among them and Nicosia became capital off their kingdom. He imposed harsh feudal system and the vast majority of Cypriots were reduced to the status of serfs. The Frankish rule of Cyprus started from 1192 and lasted until 1489. During this time, Nicosia was the capital of the medieval Kingdom of Cyprus
Kingdom of Cyprus
The Kingdom of Cyprus was a Crusader kingdom on the island of Cyprus in the high and late Middle Ages, between 1192 and 1489. It was ruled by the French House of Lusignan.-History:...

, the seat of Lusignan
Lusignan
The Lusignan family originated in Poitou near Lusignan in western France in the early 10th century. By the end of the 11th century, they had risen to become the most prominent petty lords in the region from their castle at Lusignan...

 kings, the Latin Church and the Frankish administration of the island. During the Frankish rule, the walls of the city were built along with many other palaces and buildings, including the gothic Saint Sofia Cathedral
Selimiye Mosque (Nicosia)
Selimiye Mosque or Agia Sofia Cathedral, formerly Cathédrale Sainte Sophie, is located in the Turkish controlled northern part of the walled city of Nicosia. It is the main mosque in the city. It is housed in the largest and oldest surviving gothic church in Cyprus possibly constructed on the site...

. The tombs of the Lusignan
Lusignan
The Lusignan family originated in Poitou near Lusignan in western France in the early 10th century. By the end of the 11th century, they had risen to become the most prominent petty lords in the region from their castle at Lusignan...

 kings can be found there. The first Lusignan castle was built during the reign of King Henry I, 1211. On seals of the king and his mother Alix in 1234, a castle with one or two towers is depicted surrounded with the inscription “CIVITAS NICOSIE”. The exonym Nicosia appeared with the arrival of the Lusignans. The French-speaking
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 Crusaders either could not, or did not care to, pronounce the name Lefkosia, and tended to say "Nicosie" translated into Italian and then internationally known as "Nicosia".
In 1374 Nicosia was occupied and ravaged by the Genoans
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

 and in 1426 from the Mamelukes of Egypt
Mamluk
A Mamluk was a soldier of slave origin, who were predominantly Cumans/Kipchaks The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior...

.

In 1489 Cyprus was captured by the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

. Nicosia was their administrative center and the seat of the Venetian Governor. Since the threat from the Ottomans was visible, the Venetian Governors of Nicosia emphasized in their letters the need for all the cities of Cyprus to be fortified. In 1567 Venetians built the new fortifications of Nicosia, which are well-preserved until today, demolishing the old walls built by the Franks as well as other important buildings of the Frankish era including the King's Palace, other private palaces and churches and monasteries of both Orthodox and Latin Christians. The new walls took the shape of a star with eleven bastions. The design of the bastion is more suitable for artillery and a better control for the defenders. The walls have three gates, to the North Kyrenia Gate
Kyrenia Gate
The Kyrenia Gate is a gate in the Nicosia walls, in North Nicosia, Cyprus. It was the gate which was used for transport to the northern areas, especially Kyrenia.The gate was built in 1567 by Venetians, as a part of the new city walls...

, to the west Paphos Gate and to the east Famagusta Gate. The river Pedieos
Pedieos
The Pedieos is the longest river in Cyprus. The river originates in the Troodos Mountains close to Machairas Monastery and flows northeast across the Mesaoria plains, through the capital city Nicosia...

 used to flow through the Venetian walled city. In 1567 it was later diverted outside onto the newly built moat for strategic reasons, due to the expected Ottoman attack.

Ottoman and British administration


On July 1 st 1570 the Ottomans
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 invaded the island. On the 22nd of July, Piale Pasha having captured Paphos
Paphos
Paphos , sometimes referred to as Pafos, is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about west of the...

, Limassol
Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

 and Larnaca
Larnaca
Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

 marched his army towards Nicosia and laid siege to the city. The city managed to last 40 days under siege until it's fall on 9 September 1570. Some 20,000 residents died during the sige and every church, public building, and palace was looted. After its siege it was reported that the walls that were ruined, Nicosia retained very few inhabitants. The main Latin churches were converted into mosques, such as the conversion of Saint Sofia Cathedral into the Selimiye Mosque
Selimiye Mosque (Nicosia)
Selimiye Mosque or Agia Sofia Cathedral, formerly Cathédrale Sainte Sophie, is located in the Turkish controlled northern part of the walled city of Nicosia. It is the main mosque in the city. It is housed in the largest and oldest surviving gothic church in Cyprus possibly constructed on the site...

. From 1570 when the Ottomans took over Nicosia, the old river bed through the walled city was left open and was used as a dumping ground for refuse, where rainwater would rush through clearing it temporarily.

Nicosia was the seat of the Pasha
Pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

, the Greek Archbishop, the Dragoman
Dragoman
A dragoman was an interpreter, translator and official guide between Turkish, Arabic, and Persian-speaking countries and polities of the Middle East and European embassies, consulates, vice-consulates and trading posts...

 and the Qadi
Qadi
Qadi is a judge ruling in accordance with Islamic religious law appointed by the ruler of a Muslim country. Because Islam makes no distinction between religious and secular domains, qadis traditionally have jurisdiction over all legal matters involving Muslims...

. When the newly settled Turkish population arrived they generally lived in the north of the old riverbed. Greek Cypriots remained concentrated in the south, where the Archbishopric of the Orthodox Church was built. Other ethnic minority groups such as the Armenians and Latins came to be settled near the western entry into the city at Paphos Gate.
On 5 July 1878 the administration of the island was officially transferred to Great Britain
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. On 31 July 1878, Garnet Wolseley
Garnet Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley
Field Marshal Garnet Joseph Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley, KP, GCB, OM, GCMG, VD, PC was an Anglo-Irish officer in the British Army. He served in Burma, the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, China, Canada, and widely throughout Africa—including his Ashanti campaign and the Nile Expedition...

, the first High Commissioner
High Commissioner
High Commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment.The English term is also used to render various equivalent titles in other languages.-Bilateral diplomacy:...

, arrived in Nicosia. He immediately established a skeletal administration by sending officers to each district to supervise the administration of justice and obtain all possible information about the area. Garnet Wolseley immediately established a Post Office at his camp at Kykko Metochi monastery outside Nicosia. Garnet Wolseley lived at ‘Monastery Camp' until a prefabricated residence had been built for him near Strovolos on the site of today's Presidential Palace.

At the time of British administration, Nicosia was still contained entirely within its Venetian walls. Although full of private gardens and amply supplied with water carried to public fountains in aqueducts, the streets remained unpaved and just wide enough for a loaded pack animal. In 1881, macadamized roads through the town were completed to connect with the main roads to the coastal towns but no roads were asphalted until after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. A series of openings in the Venetian walls provided direct access to areas beyond the walls. The first opening was cut in the Paphos Gate in 1879. The Limassol or Hadjisavva opening, now Eleftheria Square linked the city to the government offices in 1882. In June of that year, the municipal limits were extended to “a circle drawn at a distance of five hundred yards beyond the salient angles of the bastions of the fortifications. An opening was made at the Kyrenia Gate in 1931 after one of Nicosia's first buses proved too high to go through the original gate. Many more openings followed. During the post-war period the villages around Nicosia began to expand. By 1958 they had been engulfed in suburbia. Only Strovolos and Aglandja maintained separate physical identities, chiefly because of intervening state-owned land. By this time, the old city was increasingly given over to shops and workshops.

In 1955 an armed struggle against the British rule began aiming to unite the island with Greece, Enosis
Enosis
Enosis refers to the movement of the Greek-Cypriot population to incorporate the island of Cyprus into Greece.Similar movements had previously developed in other regions with ethnic Greek majorities such as the Ionian Islands, Crete and the Dodecanese. These regions were eventually incorporated...

. The struggle was led by EOKA
EOKA
EOKA was an anticolonial, antiimperialist nationalist organisation with the ultimate goal of "The liberation of Cyprus from the British yoke". Although not stated in its initial declaration of existence which was printed and distributed on the 1st of April 1955, EOKA also had a target of achieving...

, a Greek Cypriot nationalist military resistance organisation, and supported by the vast majority of Greek Cypriots. The unification with Greece failed and instead the independence of Cyprus was declared in 1960. During the period of the struggle, Nicosia was the scene of violent protests against the British rule.

Independence and division


In 1960 Nicosia became the capital of the Republic of Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, whose constitution was based on the co-operation of the island's two main communities, Greek and Turkish Cypriots. In December 1963, during the aftermath of a constitutional crisis, skirmishes
Cypriot intercommunal violence
Cypriot intercommunal violence refers to periods of sectarian conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the island of Cyprus from 1963 to 1974.-Background:...

 broke out between Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. Nicosia was divided into Greek and Turkish Cypriot quarters. The dividing line, which cuts through the city, was named Green line because the pen used by the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 officer to draw the line on a city map was green.

On the 15th July 1974, there was an attempted coup d'état led by the Greek military junta to unite the island with Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. The coup ousted president Makarios III
Makarios III
Makarios III , born Andreas Christodolou Mouskos , was the archbishop and primate of the autocephalous Cypriot Orthodox Church and the first President of the Republic of Cyprus ....

 and replaced him with pro-enosis
Enosis
Enosis refers to the movement of the Greek-Cypriot population to incorporate the island of Cyprus into Greece.Similar movements had previously developed in other regions with ethnic Greek majorities such as the Ionian Islands, Crete and the Dodecanese. These regions were eventually incorporated...

 nationalist Nikos Sampson
Nikos Sampson
Nikos Sampson was the de facto president of Cyprus who succeeded Archbishop Makarios, President of Cyprus, in 1974. Sampson was a journalist and a member of EOKA, which rose against the British colonial administration, seeking Enosis of the island of Cyprus with Greece...

.

On the 20th July 1974, the Turkish army invaded
Turkish invasion of Cyprus
The Turkish invasion of Cyprus, launched on 20 July 1974, was a Turkish military invasion in response to a Greek military junta backed coup in Cyprus...

 the island on the pretext of restoring the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus. However, even after the restoration of constitutional order and the return of Archbishop Makarios III to Cyprus in December 1974, the Turkish troops remained on the island occupying the northeastern portion of the island. The invasion was given the codename Operation Attila
Operation Attila
Operation Attila may refer to:*Operation Attila , a plan for the Nazi occupation of Vichy France*Operation Atilla, actions of the Turkish armed forces during the invasion of Cyprus...

 and included two phases.

The second phase of the Turkish invasion was performed on the 14th August 1974, where the Turkish army advanced their positions, eventually capturing a total of 37% of Cypriot territory including the northern part of Nicosia and the cities of Kyrenia
Kyrenia
Kyrenia is a town on the northern coast of Cyprus, noted for its historic harbour and castle. Internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyrenia has been under Turkish control since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974...

 and Famagusta
Famagusta
Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus and is capital of the Famagusta District. It is located east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour of the island.-Name:...

. The fighting left the island with a massive refugee problem. Out of a population of 600,000, an estimated 200,000 Greek-Cypriots had been uprooted and forced to flee south of the Attila line
United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus
The United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus runs for more than along what is known as the Green Line and has an area of . The zone partitions the island of Cyprus into a southern area effectively controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus , and the northern area...

, while an estimated 60,000 Turkish-Cypriots remained south of the Attila line, uncertain of their fate.

On February 13, 1975 the Turkish Cypriot community declared the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus
Turkish Federated State of Cyprus
Turkish Federated State of Cyprus in Turkish. The state which is occurred between 1975 and 1983.The UN General Secretary came to Cyprus on 25–26 December 1974, and demanded that bilateral talks be initiated between the two communities...

 in the area occupied by Turkish forces. On November 15, 1983, Turkish Cypriots proclaimed their independence as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

The Turkish invasion, the continuous occupation of Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 as well as the self-declaration of independence of the TRNC have been condemned by several United Nations Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council. The Security Council is reaffirming their condemnation every year.

Municipalities



The Nicosia Municipality
Nicosia Municipality
Nicosia Municipality , is the municipal government which is responsible for all the municipal duties of Nicosia.-History:The municipal council was elected according to the Municipal Ordinance of 1882, and the District Commissioner with one Greek and one Turkish adviser undertook municipal affairs...

 is responsible for all the municipal duties and responsibility on the southern part of city. The Nicosia Turkish Municipality
Nicosia Turkish Municipality
Nicosia Turkish Municipality , is the governing body of North Nicosia. It was established in 1958 and was recognized by Article 173 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. After 1974, it became the municipality of North Nicosia. The current mayor is Cemal Metin Bulutoğluları.- External links...

, founded in 1958, carried out municipal duties on the northern part of city.

Nicosia Municipality


South Nicosia is political, economic and cultural centre of the Republic of Cyprus. Greater Nicosia is subdivided into seven municipalities, but the metropolitan authority is the Municipality of Nicosia itself – within whose boundaries the Constitution states that the main government buildings and headquarters must be situated. The other municipalities in the city are Strovolos
Strovolos
Strovolos is a municipality of Nicosia. With a population of near 70,000, it is the second biggest municipality of Cyprus, after Limassol, and the biggest municipality of Nicosia...

, Lakatamia, Latsia
Latsia
Latsia , once a small village on the south east outskirts of Nicosia is today one of the largest and most populous suburbs of the city. It hosts the new Nicosia General Hospital, the new GSP Stadium and the new campus of the University of Cyprus....

, Aglandjia, Engomi
Engomi
This article is about the suburb of Nicosia. For the ancient settlement near Famagusta, see: EnkomiEngomi is a suburb of the Cypriot capital Nicosia. It has a population of around 13,600 . It is a mainly residential neighbourhood with many large villas...

, Agios Dhometios and the newly formed (as of 2011) Geri
Geri
Geri can refer to:*Geri , village in Cyprus*Geri, wolf in Norse mythology from the story of Geri and Freki*Geri Allen , American jazz pianist and music producer...

 & Tseri
Tseri
Tseri is a suburb in Cyprus to the south of the Cypriot capital, Nicosia. The region had a population about of 300 people before 1974. Its inhabitants are known as "Tseriotis" or "Tserkotis" for males and "Tseriotissa" or "Tserkotissa" for females...

.

According to the constitution of Cyprus Nicosia Municipality was divided into a Greek and Turkish sector with two Mayors: a representative of the Greek
Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots are the ethnic Greek population of Cyprus, forming the island's largest ethnolinguistic community at 77% of the population. Greek Cypriots are mostly members of the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 community which was the majority, and a second one representing the Turkish
Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots are the ethnic Turks and members of the Turkish-speaking ethnolinguistic community of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The term is used to refer explicitly to the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, whose Ottoman Turkish forbears colonised the island in 1571...

 community. The Mayors and the members of the Council were appointed by the President of the Republic. Since 1986, the Mayors and members of the Council are elected. The Mayor and the Municipal Councillors are elected by direct popular suffrage but into separate ballots – one for the Mayor and the other for all the Councillors. Municipal elections are held every five years.

The Municipality of Nicosia is now headed by the Mayor, who is Eleni Mavrou
Eleni Mavrou
Eleni Mavrou is the mayor of Nicosia, Cyprus. She was elected in December 2006 becoming the first female mayor of Cyprus's capital. Born in Kyrenia in 1961, her family was forced to leave their house in 1974 due to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and since then has been residing in Nicosia.-...

 (former lagilator of the communist party
Communist party
A political party described as a Communist party includes those that advocate the application of the social principles of communism through a communist form of government...

 AKEL, supported by her own political party, socialist party EDEK and the Democratic Party  and the council composed of 26 councilors, one of who is Deputy Mayor.

The Mayor and the Councillors exercise all the powers vested in them by the Municipal Corporation Law. Sub-committees consisting of members of the Municipal Council act only on an advisory level and according to the procedures and regulations issued by the Council.

The Mayor is the executive authority of the Municipality, exercising overall control and managing the Municipal Council. The Council is responsible for appointing personnel employed by the Municipality. All municipalities in the Republic of Cyprus are members of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities. The executive Committee is the governing organ of the Union. This Committee is appointed from among the representatives of the Municipalities for a term of two and a half years. The Mayor of Nicosia is the President of the Union and the Chairman of the Executive Committee.

Nicosia Turkish Municipality


The first attempt to establish a Nicosia Turkish Municipality
Nicosia Turkish Municipality
Nicosia Turkish Municipality , is the governing body of North Nicosia. It was established in 1958 and was recognized by Article 173 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. After 1974, it became the municipality of North Nicosia. The current mayor is Cemal Metin Bulutoğluları.- External links...

 was made in 1958. In October 1959, the British Colonial Administration passed the Turkish Municipality Committees law. In 1960 with the declaration of independence of Cyprus, the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus gave Turkish Cypriots the right to establish their own municipality. As negotiations between the two sides to establish separate municipalities failed in 1962, implementing legislation was never passed. Since the complete division of Nicosia following the Turkish Invasion in 1974, the Nicosia Turkish Municipality has become the de facto local authority of northern Nicosia. The Nicosia Turkish Municipality is a member the Union of Cyprus Turkish Municipalities. The current mayor is Cemal Metin Bulutoğluları
Cemal Metin Bulutoglulari
Cemal Metin Bulutoğluları is the mayor of the capital of Northern Cyprus, North Nicosia's Nicosia Turkish Municipality . He was born in Nicosia. He lived his childhood in Ortaköy Marmara neighbourhood and graduated from the Nicosia Turkish High School in 1979. He graduated from Eastham College of...

 from National Unity Party (UBP).

Culture



Museums


The Cyprus Archaeological Museum in Nicosia is the biggest archaeological museum in the country. It is home to the richest and largest collection of Cypriot antiques in the world. These consist exclusively of objects discovered on the island. The exhibits have been stored in the same building outside the city walls of Nicosia ever since the establishment of the museum in 1882 by the British administration reigning the island at that time.

The Ethnographic Museum hosts the largest collection of ethnographic artifacts in the country which includes costumes, pottery, lace, metalwork, woodcarving and paintings.

In old Nicosia, the Ethnological Museum (Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios Mansion
Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios Mansion
The Hadjigeorgakis Korensios Mansion is situated near the Archbishopric, in the neighbourhood of Saint Antonios in Nicosia, Cyprus, where the wealthy notables of the Greek community traditionally used to live.-Overview:...

) is the most important example of urban architecture of the last century of Ottoman domination which survives in old Nicosia. Today, the mansion which was awarded the Europa Nostra
Europa Nostra
Europa Nostra, the pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage, is the representative platform of 250 heritage NGOs active in 45 countries across Europe...

 prize for its exemplary renovation work, functions as a museum where a collection of artifacts from the Byzantine, Medieval and Ottoman era are displayed.

Performing Arts


Nicosia offers a wide variety of musical and theatrical events, organized either by the municipality or independent organizations.

THOC (Theatrical Organization of Cyprus) was founded in 1971 and is a member of the European Theatre Convention
European Theatre Convention
-Programs :According to its website, the programs of the European Theatre Convention include the following programs :-Current members:-Board and representative:...

. It hosts a wide variety of theatre shows on a regular basis at the Latsia Municipal Theatre, Nea Skini and Theatro Ena.

Skali Aglantzias is a multifunctional space in the Scali area of Aglantzia. It is made up of an open ­ air square, amphitheatre, exhibition space, restaurant & bar. It hosts many shows, concerts and cultural events.

The Satirical Theatre of Cyprus was founded in October 1983 by actor and director Vladimiros Kafkaridis. It is the first Free Theatre to be supported financially by the government. It is also the only drama school in Cyprus.

Strovolos Municipal Theatre is located in the municipality's main avenue. It has hosted many charitable, cultural and educational events, as well as theatre shows, concerts, operas, ballets both of national and international standing.

Notable cultural events are also frequently hosted by the Ammochostos Gate Cultural Centre, the Municipal Arts Centre, the Municipal Centre of Contemporary Social and Cultural Services and many others.

In June 2011, Nicosia launched it's campaign to become the European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

 in 2017.

Education


Nicosia has a large student community as it is the seat of five universities, the University of Cyprus
University of Cyprus
The University of Cyprus is a public coeducational university established by the Republic of Cyprus in 1989. It admitted its first students in 1992 and has currently approximately 6000 students .-History:...

 (UCY), the University of Nicosia
University of Nicosia
The University of Nicosia is the largest private university in Cyprus, with campuses based in the three largest cities in Cyprus: Nicosia, Lemesos and Larnaca. It was formally known, until September 2007, as Intercollege...

, the European University, the Open University of Cyprus
Open University of Cyprus
The Open University of Cyprus , in Lefkosia , is the only university in Cyprus dedicated to distance learning.-Methodology:...

 and Frederick University
Frederick university
Frederick University is one of the largest private universities operating in the Republic of Cyprus a full member state of the European Union. It is well respected both nationally and internationally for offering undergraduate and graduate programs of study that lead to recognized degrees...

.

Economy


Nicosia is the financial and business heart of Cyprus. The city hosts the headquarters of all Cypriot banks namely Marfin Popular Bank
Marfin Popular Bank
Marfin Popular Bank is the second largest banking group in Cyprus behind the Bank of Cyprus. Trading on the island as Laiki Bank , it currently holds a 15% share of the market in loans and a 19% share of deposits. Its shares are listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange and the Athens Stock Exchange...

 (formerly known as Popular Bank), Bank of Cyprus
Bank of Cyprus
Bank of Cyprus is a major Cypriot financial institution. In terms of market capitalisation it is the country's second largest company.As of December 31, 2005, the Group's Total Assets reached C£13,22bn and the Group's Shareholders' Funds were C£818mn . At 30 September 2008, the Group's Total...

, the Hellenic Bank
Hellenic Bank
Hellenic Bank Public Company Ltd , is the third largest bank on the island of Cyprus with a 10.47% share of deposits and 7.92% of the loans market. Its shares are listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange....

. Further, the Central Bank of Cyprus
Central Bank of Cyprus
The Central Bank of Cyprus , is the central bank of the Republic of Cyprus, located in Nicosia. It was established in 1963. Its current governor is Mr. Athanasios Orphanides...

  is located in the Acropolis area of the Cypriot capital.

A number of international businesses base their Cypriot headquarters in Nicosia, such as the big four audit firms PWC
PwC
PricewaterhouseCoopers is a global professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest professional services firm measured by revenues and one of the "Big Four" accountancy firms....

, Deloitte, KPMG
KPMG
KPMG is one of the largest professional services networks in the world and one of the Big Four auditors, along with Deloitte, Ernst & Young and PwC. Its global headquarters is located in Amstelveen, Netherlands....

 and Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is one of the largest professional services networks in the world and one of the "Big Four" accountancy firms, along with Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers ....

. International technology companies such as NCR
NCR
NCR can refer to several topics:* nCr as an abbreviation of the mathematics formula "from n choose r"* NCR Corporation, a technology company specializing in solutions for businesses, formerly known as National Cash Register...

 and TSYS
TSYS
Total System Services, Inc. is the largest processor of merchant acquirers and bank credit card issuers. Creators of TS2 and TS1. TSYS is located in Columbus, Georgia, United States. TSYS acquired a leading prepaid card processor, Clarity Payment Solutions, Inc...

 have their regional headquarters in Nicosia. The city is also home to local financial newspapers such as the Financial Mirror
Financial Mirror
The Financial Mirror is the top-selling daily business newspaper in Cyprus. The main paper is published in English but a supplement in Greek is also included....

 and Stockwatch.

Cyprus Airways
Cyprus Airways
Cyprus Airways is the national airline of Cyprus, a public limited company with its head offices located in the capital of the island, Nicosia. It operates scheduled services to 41 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and the Gulf. It flies from both airports of the island, Larnaca and Paphos,...

 has its head offices in the entrance of Makariou Avenue.

According to a recent UBS survey in August 2011, Nicosia is the wealthiest per capita city of the Eastern Mediterranean
Eastern Mediterranean
The Eastern Mediterranean is a term that denotes the countries geographically to the east of the Mediterranean Sea. This region is also known as Greater Syria or the Levant....

 and the tenth richest city in the world by purchasing power in 2011.".

Climate


Nicosia has a hot subtropical semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 BSh) with long, hot and dry summers with relatively wet and mild winters.

Transportation


Nicosia is linked with other major cities in Cyprus via a modern motorway network
Motorways and roads in Cyprus
Since the arrival of the first motor cars on the island in 1907, Cyprus has developed one of the most modern road networks in Europe. According to 2002 statistics, the road network in the free areas of Cyprus consists of about 7,206 km of paved and 4,387 km of unpaved roads...

. The A1
A1 motorway (Cyprus)
The A1 motorway marked the beginning of an ambitious government project to link all the main cities on the island with modern 4 lane highways. It is 73 km long and is free of any at-grade intersections...

 connects Nicosia with Limassol
Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

 in the south with the A6
A6 motorway (Cyprus)
The A6 highway marked the ending of an ambitious government project to link all the main cities on the island with modern four-lane, high-speed highways. It is 66 km long and is free of any at-grade intersections...

 going from Limassol onto Paphos
Paphos
Paphos , sometimes referred to as Pafos, is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about west of the...

.
The A2
A2 motorway (Cyprus)
thumb|leftThe A2 motorway branches off the A1 at Pera Chorio-Nisou and connects to the A3. It is locally referred to as the Nicosia - Larnaca motorway . It is also called "the tube" due to its mostly straight with a very limited number of exits....

 links Nicosia with the south eastern city of Larnaca
Larnaca
Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

 with the A3
A3 motorway (Cyprus)
The A3 motorway is a modern motorway linking Larnaca International Airport, the largest airport in Cyprus, and Ayia Napa, a very popular clubbing paradise. It is 55 km long. The road was built in five phases and took about 10 years to be completed...

 going from Larnaca to Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa is a resort at the far eastern end of the southern coast of Cyprus, famous for its sandy beaches. In recent years, apart from being a family holiday destination, it has become a 'party capital' together with Ibiza, Rimini and Mykonos...

. The A9
A9 motorway (Cyprus)
A9 is a highway under construction which is planned to connect Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, with the Troödos Mountains. Currently this highway is completed until the small village of Dhenia. The project has stopped until the safety of planers will be established...

 connects Nicosia to the west Nicosia district villages and the Troodos mountains
Troodos Mountains
Troodos is the biggest mountain range of Cyprus, located in the center of the island. Troodos' highest peak is Mount Olympus at 1,952 metres.The Troodos mountain range stretches across most of the western side of Cyprus...

.

Public transport within the city is currently served by a new and reliable bus service. For more information about bus routes in Nicosia refer to OSEL. Many taxi companies operate in Nicosia. Fares are regulated by law and taxi drivers are obliged to use a taximeter
Taximeter
A taximeter is a mechanical or electronic device installed in taxicabs and auto rickshaws that calculates passenger fares based on a combination of distance travelled and waiting time...

.

In 2010, as part of the Nicosia Integrated Mobility Plan, a pre-feasibility study for a proposed tram netowork has taken place and sponsored by the Ministry of Communications and Works. The study compared two scenarios, with and without the operation of a tramway in terms of emitted polluting loads. The study realised that the reduction in the pollutants per transported passenger for the scenario with tramway, fluctuates from 5-10% and reaches up to 90% specifically in the central roads of Nicosia.

In 2011, the Nicosia Municipality introduced the Bike in Action scheme, a bicycle sharing system which covers the Greater Nicosia area. The scheme is run by the Inter-Municipal Bicycle Company of Nicosia (DEPL). While the bike-lane network is being upgraded, the scheme aims to serve a large portion of the population, university students and tourist groups in their movement to and from downtown. The scheme has 27 docking stations spread across seven municipalities and involves 315 bikes which people can borrow from any designated station and return to any other station of their choosing. Specifically the Nicosia Municipality has installed 100 bikes in 5 stations, the Aglandjia Municipality 50 bikes at 4 stations, the Municipality of Strovolos
Strovolos
Strovolos is a municipality of Nicosia. With a population of near 70,000, it is the second biggest municipality of Cyprus, after Limassol, and the biggest municipality of Nicosia...

 80 bikes at 8 stations, the Municipality of Dali
Dali, Cyprus
Dali is a large village in Cyprus, located south east of the capital Nicosia and close to the ancient city of Idalion. By the 2001 census it had a total population of 5,834.Now in 2007 Dali has reached the population of 7,564....

 20 cycles at 3 stations, the Municipality of Ayios Dhometios 20 cycles at 2 stations, the Municipality of Latsia
Latsia
Latsia , once a small village on the south east outskirts of Nicosia is today one of the largest and most populous suburbs of the city. It hosts the new Nicosia General Hospital, the new GSP Stadium and the new campus of the University of Cyprus....

 15 bikes at 2 station and the Municipality of Engomi 30 cycles at 3 stations. People do not have to register to use the bikes as long as they have a credit or debit card in order to pay a €150 security deposit. The deposit is paid back within 24 hours of returning the bike.

There is currently no train network in Cyprus however plans for the creation of an intercity railway are currently under way. The first railway line on the island was the Cyprus Government Railway
Cyprus Government Railway
The Cyprus Government Railway was a narrow gauge railway network that operated in Cyprus from October 1905 to December 1951. With a total length of , there were 39 stations, stops and halts, the most prominent of which served Famagusta, Prastio Mesaoria, Angastina, Trachoni, Nicosia,...

 which operated from 1905 to 1951. There were 39 stations, stops and halts, the most prominent of which served Famagusta, Prastio Mesaoria, Angastina, Trachoni, Nicosia, Kokkinotrimithia, Morphou, Kalo Chorio and Evrychou. It was closed down due to financial reasons.

Pre-Independence (1882–1959)

  • Christodoulos Severis, 15 November 1882–31 July 1888.
  • Achilleas Liassides, 1 August 1888–10 April 1906.
  • Antonios Theodotou, 8 January 1888–10 April 1906.
  • Mehmet Şevket Bey, 11 April 1908–31 March 1911.
  • Antonios Theodotou, 1924–1926
  • George Markides, 6 April 1926–31 March 1929.
  • Themistoclis Dervis, 5 April 1929–28 September 1946.
  • Ioannis Clerides, 1 June 1946–31 May 1949 (Last elected Mayor until 1986).
  • Themistoclis Dervis, 1 June 1949–18 December 1959.

Post-Independence (1959-1974)

  • Diomedes Skettos, 1959–1960.
  • George M. Spanos, 1960–1962; 1963–1964.
  • Odysseas Ioannides, 1964–1970.
  • Lellos Demetriades, December 1971–July 1974 (dismissed by the July 15 Coup).

(South Nicosia)

  • Christoforos Kithreotis, August 1974.
  • Lellos Demetriades, October 1974–2001 (Elected in 1986; reelected in 1991 and 1996).
  • Michalis Zampelas
    Michalis Zampelas
    Michalis Zampelas is a businessman and politician. He was the mayor of Nicosia from 2002–2006 and is the general manager of PricewaterhouseCoopers Cyprus...

    , 2002–2006.
  • Eleni Mavrou
    Eleni Mavrou
    Eleni Mavrou is the mayor of Nicosia, Cyprus. She was elected in December 2006 becoming the first female mayor of Cyprus's capital. Born in Kyrenia in 1961, her family was forced to leave their house in 1974 due to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and since then has been residing in Nicosia.-...

    , 2007–present.

Sports


Football


Football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 is the most popular sport in Cyprus, and Nicosia is home of three major teams of the island; APOEL, Omonia
AC Omonia
Athletic Club Omonoia Nicosia is a professional football club that plays in the Cyprus capital city Nicosia. The club was established in 1948 and became a member of the Cyprus Football Association in 1953...

 and Olympiakos
Olympiakos Nicosia
Olympiakos Nicosia is a football club in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia. The club was founded in 1931. It is a founding member of the Cyprus Football Association. The club colors are black and green. Olympiakos's home ground is the New GSP Stadium of 23,400 seat capacity...

. APOEL and Omonia dominate Cypriot football
Football in Cyprus
Football in Cyprus is by far the most popular sport.Short of some sporadic surprise wins versus higher-ranked countries, mostly on home soil, the national team has not enjoyed any success of note...

. There are also many other football clubs in Nicosia and the suburbs.
GSP Stadium is the largest football stadium in Nicosia.

Other sports


Nicosia is also the home for many clubs for basketball, handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

 and other sports. APOEL and Omonia have basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 and volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 sections and Keravnos
Keravnos
Keravnos Strovolos is one of the powerhouses of Cypriot basketball. Founded in 1926, it is based in the Nicosia suburb of Strovolos. In the past, the club also had a football team.-History:...

 is one of the major basketball teams of the island. The Gymnastic Club Pancypria (GSP), the owner of the Neo GSP Stadium
Neo GSP Stadium
The Pancyprian Gymnastic Association Stadium is a football stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus. Although small by international standards, it is the largest stadium in Cyprus, with a capacity of 22,859 and was built in 1999. It serves as the home stadium for the Nicosia Clubs of APOEL, Olympiakos Nicosia...

, is one of the major athletics clubs of the island. Also, all teams in the Futsal
Futsal
Futsal is a variant of association football that is played on a smaller pitch and mainly played indoors. Its name is a portmanteau of the Portuguese futebol de salão and the Spanish fútbol de salón , which can be translated as "hall football" or "indoor football"...

 First Division are from Nicosia.

Venues


Nicosia has some of the biggest venues in the island; The Neo GSP Stadium
Neo GSP Stadium
The Pancyprian Gymnastic Association Stadium is a football stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus. Although small by international standards, it is the largest stadium in Cyprus, with a capacity of 22,859 and was built in 1999. It serves as the home stadium for the Nicosia Clubs of APOEL, Olympiakos Nicosia...

, the biggest in Cyprus, with capacity of 23,400 is the home for the national team
Cyprus national football team
The Cyprus national football team represents Cyprus in association football and is controlled by the Cyprus Football Association, the governing body for football in Cyprus. Cyprus' home ground is the GSP Stadium in Nicosia and the current coach is Nikos Nioplias...

, APOEL, Olympiakos
Olympiakos Nicosia
Olympiakos Nicosia is a football club in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia. The club was founded in 1931. It is a founding member of the Cyprus Football Association. The club colors are black and green. Olympiakos's home ground is the New GSP Stadium of 23,400 seat capacity...

 and Omonia
AC Omonia
Athletic Club Omonoia Nicosia is a professional football club that plays in the Cyprus capital city Nicosia. The club was established in 1948 and became a member of the Cyprus Football Association in 1953...

. The other big football stadium in Nicosia is Makario Stadium
Makario Stadium
Makario Stadium is an all seater Multi-purpose stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus. It was the largest and main sports venue of the capital up to the construction of the new GSP stadium in 1999. At present it is mostly used for football matches and is the home ground of Digenis Morphou and Ethnikos Assia....

 with capacity of 16,000.
The Eleftheria Indoor Hall
Eleftheria Indoor Hall
The Eleftheria Athletic Center , officially named Tassos Papadopoulos Eleftheria Indoor Hall The hall is used mainly for basketball events, although can be used for badminton, gymnastics, karate, taekwondo, handball, squash, volleyball, judo, table tennis...

 is the biggest basketball stadium in Cyprus, with capacity of 6,500 seats and is the home for
the national team
Cyprus national basketball team
The Cypriot national basketball team is the national team of Cyprus. It is run by the Cyprus Basketball Federation. It is affiliated to FIBA, in the FIBA Europe zone.- History :The team participates at international and European tournaments...

, APOEL
APOEL B.C.
APOEL is a professional basketball team from Nicosia, Cyprus. APOEL is one of the most successful basketball clubs in Cyprus by winning 10 Championships, 11 Cups and 10 Supercups. APOEL B.C. is part of the APOEL multisport club.-History:...

 and Omonia
AC Omonia
Athletic Club Omonoia Nicosia is a professional football club that plays in the Cyprus capital city Nicosia. The club was established in 1948 and became a member of the Cyprus Football Association in 1953...

.
The Lefkotheo indoor arena
Lefkotheo
The Lefkotheo arena was the first major indoor sports hall to be constructed in Cyprus. Its construction was finished in 1980, and it is located next to the Makario Stadium with which it shares a common car park...

 is the volleyball stadium for APOEL and Omonia.

International and European events


Nicosia hosted the 2000 ISSF World Cup Final
2000 ISSF World Cup Final
For the 2000 ISSF World Cup in the seventeen Olympic shooting events, the World Cup Final was held in October 2000 in Nicosia, Cyprus for the shotgun events, and in November 2000 in Munich, Germany for the rifle, pistol and running target events.-Shotgun:...

 shooting events for the shotgun. Also the city hosted two basketball events; the European Saporta Cup in 1997 and the 2005 FIBA Europe All Star Game in the Eleftheria Indoor Hall
Eleftheria Indoor Hall
The Eleftheria Athletic Center , officially named Tassos Papadopoulos Eleftheria Indoor Hall The hall is used mainly for basketball events, although can be used for badminton, gymnastics, karate, taekwondo, handball, squash, volleyball, judo, table tennis...

. Another event which was hosted in Nicosia were the Games of the Small States of Europe
Games of the Small States of Europe
The Games of the Small States of Europe is a biennial, multi-sport event, launched by the Republic of San Marino, organized by and featuring the National Olympic Committees of eight European small states since 1985...

 in 1989 and 2009.

Famous Nicosians

  • Tassos Papadopoulos
    Tassos Papadopoulos
    Tassos Nikolaou Papadopoulos was a Cypriot politician. He served as the fifth President of the Republic of Cyprus from February 28, 2003 to February 28, 2008.His parents were Nicolas and Aggeliki from Assia. He was the first of three children...

    , ex-president of the Republic of Cyprus (2003–2008).
  • Glafkos Klerides
    Glafkos Klerides
    Glafcos Ioannou Clerides is a Greek-Cypriot politician and the fourth President of the Republic of Cyprus.Clerides was the eldest son of the lawyer and statesman Ioannis Clerides....

    , president of the Republic of Cyprus (1993–2003).
  • George Vasiliou
    George Vasiliou
    Georgios Vasos Vassiliou was the third President of the Republic of Cyprus from 1988 to 1993. He was also the founder and leader of the Cypriot United Democrats party and a highly successful businessman....

    , president of the Republic of Cyprus (1988–1993).
  • Ioannis Kasoulides
    Ioannis Kasoulides
    Ioannis Kasoulides is a Cypriot politician and member of European Parliament.He is member of European People's Party and Democratic Rally He was elected as member of Cyprus Parliament on 1991 and also served as minister of the government of Cyprus for the period 1993-2003.Ioannis Kasoulides is...

    , Member of the European Parliament
    Member of the European Parliament
    A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

    .
  • Kıbrıslı Mehmed Kamil Pasha
    Kibrisli Mehmed Kamil Pasha
    Kâmil Pasha , also spelled as Kiamil Pasha was an Ottoman statesman of Turkish Cypriot origin in the late 19th century and early 20th century, who became, as aside regional or international posts within the Ottoman state structure, grand vizier of the Empire during four different periods.He was...

    , Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
  • Fazıl Küçük
    Fazil Küçük
    Fazıl Küçük was the first Vice President of the Republic of Cyprus.Fazıl Küçük, the son of a farmer, was born in Nicosia in 1906. After graduating from the Turkish High School in Nicosia, Küçük went on to study medicine at the Universities of Istanbul, Lausanne and Paris...

     former vice president of the Republic of Cyprus (1960–1963).
  • Benon Sevan
    Benon Sevan
    Benon Vahe Sevan was the head of the United Nations' Oil-for-Food Programme, established in 1996 and charged with preventing Iraq's government from using the proceeds from oil exports for anything but food, medicine and other items to benefit the civilian population.Born into an Armenian-Cypriot...

    , Armenian ex-head of UN Oil for Food program.
  • Nicolas Economou
    Nicolas Economou
    Nicolas Economou was a Cypriot composer and pianist born in Nicosia, Cyprus.A precociously gifted pianist, Economou came to international attention at the 1969 Tchaikovsky Competition when he was aged 16. After studying at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow he eventually moved via Düsseldorf...

    , composer.
  • Alkinoos Ioannidis
    Alkinoos Ioannidis
    Alkinoos Ioannidis is a Greek-Cypriot composer, lyricist, singer and orchestrator.He was born in Nicosia on 19 September 1969. His artistic family, with a painter father and poet brother was a source of inspiration for him. He first wanted to study drums, but couldn't due to the lack of a drum...

    , singer.
  • Michalis Hatzigiannis
    Michalis Hatzigiannis
    Michael Hatzigiannis is a popular Greek Cypriot recording artist. From 2000 to 2009, Hatzigiannis has received over 30 certifications in Greece alone, making him one of most successful artists of the decade. Hatzigiannis is also known for representing Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998...

    , singer.
  • Stavros Konstantinou
    Stavros Konstantinou
    Stavros Konstantinou is a Greek Cypriot singer who rose to popularity after winning Super Idol, the Greek version of Pop Idol, shown by MEGA TV in 2004, in its only season under that name...

    , singer, winner of Greek Super Idol
    Super Idol
    Super Idol was the first Greek version of the British television hit show Pop Idol. It was a talent contest to find a pop performer. The first series of the show, from February 8 to June 17, 2004, was hosted by Themis Georgantas and the winner was Stavros Konstantinou.Due to low ratings Mega...

    .
  • Alparslan Türkeş
    Alparslan Türkes
    Alparslan Türkeş was a Cypriot-born Turkish nationalist politician who was the founder and former president of the Nationalist Movement Party party...

    , a Turkish nationalist politician, who served as a Deputy Prime Minister
    Deputy Prime Minister
    A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some counties, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different, though both...

     of Turkey
  • Giannos Kranidiotis
    Giannos Kranidiotis
    Giannos Kranidiotis was a Greek diplomat and politician....

    , a Greek diplomat and politician
  • Mick Karn
    Mick Karn
    Andonis Michaelides , better known as Mick Karn, was an English multi-instrumentalist musician and songwriter, who came to fame as the bassist for the art rock band Japan, from 1974 to 1982....

    , bassist, singer.

Twinnings with Southern Nicosia, controlled by the Republic of Cyprus

Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 Schwerin
Schwerin
Schwerin is the capital and second-largest city of the northern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The population, as of end of 2009, was 95,041.-History:...

, Germany, since 1974 Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, since 1988 Odessa
Odessa
Odessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 .The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement,...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, since 1996 Shiraz
Shiraz, Iran
Shiraz is the sixth most populous city in Iran and is the capital of Fars Province, the city's 2009 population was 1,455,073. Shiraz is located in the southwest of Iran on the Roodkhaneye Khoshk seasonal river...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, since 1999
Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, since 2004 Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

, China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, since 2004 Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, Spain, since 2004 Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, since 2004
Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, since 2004 Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, since 2004 Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

, since 2004 Kumanovo
Kumanovo
Kumanovo is a city in the Republic of Macedonia and is the seat of Kumanovo Municipality which is the largest municipality in the country. Municipal institutions include a city council, mayor and other administrative bodies.-Name:...

, Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...


Twinnings with Northern Nicosia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Municipality

Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, since 1988 Adana
Adana
Adana is a city in southern Turkey and a major agricultural and commercial center. The city is situated on the Seyhan River, 30 kilometres inland from the Mediterranean, in south-central Anatolia...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 Bursa, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 since 1990

Collaborations

Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Russian Federation, since 2000 Nicosia, Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, since 2000 Qingdao
Qingdao
' also known in the West by its postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a major city with a population of over 8.715 million in eastern Shandong province, Eastern China. Its built up area, made of 7 urban districts plus Jimo city, is home to about 4,346,000 inhabitants in 2010.It borders Yantai to the...

, China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, since 2001
Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, since 2002, 2003 Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, since 2003

Gallery



For the Italian town, see: Nicosia, Sicily. Also see: Nicosia (disambiguation)
Nicosia (disambiguation)
-Places:Cyprus*Nicosia, a municipality in Nicosia District and capital of the Republic of Cyprus*North Nicosia, a municipality in Nicosia District and capital of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus-Administrative units:...

.


Nicosia (ˌnɪkəˈsiːə ) from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided
Divided cities
A divided city is one which, as a consequence of political changes or border shifts, presently constitutes two separate entities. Listed are the localities and the state they belonged to at the time of division...

 capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line
United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus
The United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus runs for more than along what is known as the Green Line and has an area of . The zone partitions the island of Cyprus into a southern area effectively controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus , and the northern area...

. It is located near the center of the island, on the banks of the Pedieos River.

Nicosia is the capital and seat of government of the Republic of Cyprus. The northern part
North Nicosia
North Nicosia or Northern Nicosia , is the capital and largest city of the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It is the northern half of Nicosia, and governed by the Nicosia Turkish Municipality...

 of the city functions as the capital of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Northern Cyprus or North Cyprus , officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , is a self-declared state that comprises the northeastern part of the island of Cyprus...

, a disputed breakaway region whose claim to independent statehood is recognized only by Turkey, and which the rest of the international community considers as occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus since 1974.

Despite the division Nicosia has managed to become a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city, rich in history and culture that combines its historic past with the amenities of a modern city.

Through the years Nicosia has established itself as the island's financial capital and its main international business centre. Nicosia is consistently ranked as one of the richest cities in the world in per capita income terms.
In the past few years Nicosia has seen remarkable progress regarding its infrastructure with the most remarkable being the central Eleftheria square
Eleftheria square
Eleftheria square , is the main square in central Nicosia, Cyprus. It forms the intersection of Ledra and Onasagorou streets with Stasinou, Omirou, Kostaki Pantelidi, Konstandinou Palaiologou and Evagorou avenues. Prior to 1974 the centre of city was considered to be Faneromeni Square...

 currently in progress.

Landmarks



Ledra Street
Ledra Street
Ledra Street is a major shopping thoroughfare in central Nicosia, Cyprus, which links North and South Nicosia....

 is in the middle of the walled city. The street has historically been the busiest shopping street of the capital and adjacent streets lead to the most lively part of the old city with narrow streets, boutiques, bars and art-cafés. The street today is a historic monument on its own. It is about 1 km (0.621372736649807 mi) long and connects the south and north parts of the old city. During the EOKA struggle
EOKA
EOKA was an anticolonial, antiimperialist nationalist organisation with the ultimate goal of "The liberation of Cyprus from the British yoke". Although not stated in its initial declaration of existence which was printed and distributed on the 1st of April 1955, EOKA also had a target of achieving...

 that ran from 1955–1959, the street acquired the informal nickname The Murder Mile
Murder mile
Murder Mile is a nickname sometimes given to roads known for high crime rates or military conflict. Such roads include:* Ledra Street, in Nicosia, Cyprus, in the late 1950s* Upper and Lower Clapton Roads in Hackney, London, in the early 2000s...

in reference to the frequent targeting of the British military by nationalist fighters along its course. In 1963, during the outbreak of hostilities between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, following the announcement of amendments to the Cypriot Constitution, Turkish Cypriots withdrew to the northern part of Nicosia which became one of the many Turkish Cypriot enclaves
Turkish Cypriot Enclaves
The Turkish Cypriot enclaves were enclaves inhabited by Turkish Cypriots before the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.-Events leading to the creation of the enclaves:...

 which existed throughout the island. Various streets which ran between the northern and southern part of the city, including Ledra Street, were blockaded. During the Turkish army invasion of Cyprus in 1974, Turkish troops occupied northern Nicosia (as well as the northern part of Cyprus). A buffer zone was established across the island along the ceasefire line to separate the northern Turkish controlled part of the island, and the south. The buffer zone runs through Ledra Street. After many failed attempts on reaching agreement between the two communities, Ledra Street was re-opened on 3 April 2008.

To the east of Ledra Street, Faneromeni Square
Faneromeni Square Nicosia
Faneromeni Square , is an important historical square located within the Venetian walls of Nicosia.It hosts a number of historical buildings and monuments including Faneromeni Church , Faneromeni School , Faneromeni Library and the Marble Mausoleum ....

 was the centre of Nicosia before 1974. It hosts a number of historical buildings and monuments including Faneromeni Church, Faneromeni School, Faneromeni Library and the Marble Mausoleum. Faneromeni Church, is a church built in 1872 in the stead of another church located at the same site, constructed with the remains of La Cava castle and a convent. There rest the archbishop and the other bishops who were executed by the Ottomans in the Saray Square during the 1821 revolt. The Palace of the Archbishop can be found at Archbishop Kyprianos Square. Although it seems very old, it is a wonderful imitation of typical Venetian style, built in 1956. Next to the palace is the late Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 Saint John
St. John's Cathedral
St. John's Cathedral, or Cathedral of St. John, or other variations on the name, with or without the suffix 'the Evangelist, may refer to:In Antigua:*St. John's Cathedral, St. John'sIn Australia:*St John's Cathedral, Brisbane...

 cathedral (1665) with picturesque frescos. The square leads to Onasagorou Street
Onasagorou Street
Onasagorou Street is a major shopping street in central Nicosia that runs from Eleftheria square to Faneromeni School. It has been a fashionable shopping street since the 19th century and is currently the home of many high-priced fashion shops. It is currently one of the most expensive strips of...

, another busy shopping street in the historical centre.

The walls sourrounding the old city have three gates. In The Kyrenia Gate
Kyrenia Gate
The Kyrenia Gate is a gate in the Nicosia walls, in North Nicosia, Cyprus. It was the gate which was used for transport to the northern areas, especially Kyrenia.The gate was built in 1567 by Venetians, as a part of the new city walls...

 which was responsible to the transport to the north, and especially Kyrenia
Kyrenia
Kyrenia is a town on the northern coast of Cyprus, noted for its historic harbour and castle. Internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyrenia has been under Turkish control since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974...

, the Famagusta Gate which was responsible for the transport from Famagusta
Famagusta
Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus and is capital of the Famagusta District. It is located east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour of the island.-Name:...

, Larnaca
Larnaca
Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

 and Limassol
Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

 and Karpasia
Karpasia
Karpasia may refer to:* Karpass Peninsula, the long, finger-like peninsula of northeastern Cyprus* Karpasia , an ancient townsite on the peninsula....

, and the Paphos Gate for transport to the west and especially Paphos
Paphos
Paphos , sometimes referred to as Pafos, is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about west of the...

. All three gates are well-preserved.

In the northern part of the walled city the Selimiye Mosque
Selimiye Mosque (Nicosia)
Selimiye Mosque or Agia Sofia Cathedral, formerly Cathédrale Sainte Sophie, is located in the Turkish controlled northern part of the walled city of Nicosia. It is the main mosque in the city. It is housed in the largest and oldest surviving gothic church in Cyprus possibly constructed on the site...

 is the main mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

, where the great festivals of Bayram
Bayram
Bayram or Bairam or Beyram may refer to:* Bayram , the Turkish word for a festival or celebration* Bayrami , a Sufi order* Public holidays in Azerbaijan-People:* Hacı Bayram-ı Veli, Turkish Sufi...

 and other Moslem gatherings are conducted. It was formerly the cathedral of St. Sophia which was built in the period from 1209 to 1228 AD, over the ruins of a previous building. Other famous mosques are Haydarpasha Mosque
Haydarpasha Mosque
Haydarpasha Mosque/St. Catherine’s Cathedral in Nicosia was originally built by the Lusignans in the 14th century. It has been described by Harry Charles Luke as representing one of the finest examples of Gothic buildings on the island...

 and Arabahmet Mosque
Arabahmet Mosque
Arabahmet Mosque is situated in the city of Nicosia in the northern part of Cyprus. It was built in the late 16th century. The Mosque is named after a commander of the 1571 Ottoman army. The mosque is the tombs of some important persons of the past in its garden....

. The Omerye Mosque in the southern sector is used for the needs of the Muslim immigrants who reside in the city.

The centre of the northern part is Atatürk Square
Atatürk Square
Atatürk Square or Sarayönü is a square in North Nicosia. It is the center of the Turkish part of the city. It was known as "Konak Square" prior to the last years of British sovereignty on the island.The Venetian Column, which was transported from the ruins of Salamis, stands at the square...

 (also known as Saray Square). The square is one of the oldest and most historical places of the city. The square takes its name from the Lusignian Palace (Saray) which stood in the area before it was destroyed by the Venetians in 1489. When the Venetians captured Nicosia, they built the square and placed a ancient Greek column in the middle. The column was moved from the Greek city of Salamis
Salamis
Salamis may refer to* Salamis Island in the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea, near Athens, Greece* Battle of Salamis, fought at Salamis Island in 480 B.C.* Salamis , a genus of butterfly in the family Nymphalidae...

 as a tribute to Venetian rule of Cyprus. When the square was built, on top of the granite column, there was the lion of St. Mark and at the bottom, the coats of arms of noble Venatian families. In 1570, when the Ottomans captured Nicosia, they removed the lion, toppled the column and left it in the courtyard of Sarayonu Mosque. During the Ottoman era
Ottoman Cyprus
The Eyalet of Cyprus was created in 1571, and changed its status frequently. It was a sanjak of the Eyalet of the Archipelago from 1660 to 1703, and again from 1784 onwards; a fief of the Grand Vizier , and again an eyalet for the short period 1745-1748.- Ottoman raids and conquest :Throughout the...

 the Saray Square was the main square of the city. In July 1821, during the preparation of the Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

, with the Sultan's consent, the Ottoman administration in the island under governor Küçük Mehmet, executed 486 Greek Cypriots, accusing them of conspiring with the rebellious Greeks. They included four Bishops, many clergymen and prominent citizens, who were beheaded in Saray Square, while Archbishop Kyprianos was hanged from a mulberry tree in the square. In 1915, the column was re-erected by the British. They replaced the lost St Mark lion with a bronze orb, and decorated the plinth with the dates of the demolishing and re-erection, 1550 and 1915.

The historical centre is clearly present inside the walls, but the modern city has grown beyond.
Presently, the main square of the city is Eleftheria (Freedom) Square
Eleftheria square
Eleftheria square , is the main square in central Nicosia, Cyprus. It forms the intersection of Ledra and Onasagorou streets with Stasinou, Omirou, Kostaki Pantelidi, Konstandinou Palaiologou and Evagorou avenues. Prior to 1974 the centre of city was considered to be Faneromeni Square...

, with the city hall, the post office and the library. The square which is currently under renovation, connects the old city with the new city where one can find the main shopping streets such as the prestigious Stasikratous Street
Stasikratous Street
Stasikratous Street , is a major shopping steet located in the centre of Nicosia, Cyprus.Situated behind Makariou Anevue the street begins at the intersection of Spyrou Kyprianou Avenue and Makariou Anevue. Stasikratous street hosts a number of internationally prestigious brands. It has been...

, Themistokli Dervi Avenue
Themistokli Dervi Avenue
Themistokli Dervi Avenue , is a major shopping steet located in the centre of Nicosia, Cyprus. The avenue hosts a number of internationally prestigious brands. It also includes numerous cafeterias and restaurants. It has been categorised as one of the most famous avenues in the Eastern...

 and Makarios Avenue
Makarios Avenue
Makarios Avenue is an avenue in the centre of Nicosia, Cyprus which covers a distance of 2 km. The Street starts from the Junction of Evagoras Avenue until Aglandjia Avenue and is named after the first President of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios III. In Colonial times Makarios Avenue was named...

.

Nicosia is also known for its fine museums. The Archbishop's Palace contains a Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 museum containing the largest collection of religious icons on the island. Leventis Municipal Museum
Leventio Museum
The Leventio Museum in Nicosia, Cyprus, is home to an extensive collection of Cypriot works include archaeological artifacts, costumes, photographs, medieval pottery, maps and engravings, jewels, and furniture.-History:...

 is the only historical museum of Nicosia and revives the old ways of life in the capital from ancient times up to our days. Other interesting museums include the Folk Art Museum, National Struggle Museum (witnessing the rebellion against the British administration
EOKA
EOKA was an anticolonial, antiimperialist nationalist organisation with the ultimate goal of "The liberation of Cyprus from the British yoke". Although not stated in its initial declaration of existence which was printed and distributed on the 1st of April 1955, EOKA also had a target of achieving...

 in the 1950s), Cyprus Ethnological Museum (House of Dragoman Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios, 18th century) and the Handicrafts Centre.

Nicosia also hosts an Armenian achbishopship, a small Buddhist temple and also the Maronite arbishopship and convent. Cyprus is the second most important country for the Maronite people worldwide after Lebanon. During the Pope's visit to the island in June 2010, the Pontiff resided inside the convent.

Pre-historic


Nicosia has been in continuous habitation since the beginning of the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 2500 years BC, when the first inhabitants settled in the fertile plain of Mesaoria. Nicosia later became a city-state
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

 known as Ledra
Ledra
thumb|right|250px|Map showing the ancient city Kingdoms of CyprusLedra , also spelt Ledrae was an ancient city-kingdom located in the centre of Cyprus where the capital city of Nicosia is today. It was established in 1050 BC but by Hellenistic times it had dwindled to a small village...

 or Ledrae, one of the twelve kingdoms of ancient Cyprus built by Achaeans
Achaeans (tribe)
The Achaeans were one of the four major tribes into which the people of Classical Greece divided themselves. According to the foundation myth formalized by Hesiod, their name comes from Achaeus, the mythical founder of the Achaean tribe, who was supposedly one of the sons of Xuthus, and brother of...

 after the end of the Trojan War
Trojan War
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in many works of Greek literature, including the Iliad...

. Remains of old Ledra today can be found in the Ayia Paraskevi hill in the south east of the city. We only know about one king of Ledra, Onasagoras. The kingdom of Ledra was destroyed early. Under Assyrian rule of Cyprus, Onasagoras, was recorded as paying tribute to Esarhaddon
Esarhaddon
Esarhaddon , was a king of Assyria who reigned 681 – 669 BC. He was the youngest son of Sennacherib and the Aramean queen Naqi'a , Sennacherib's second wife....

 of Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

 in 672 BC. Rebuilt by Lefkonas, son of Ptolemy I around 300 BC, Ledra is described as a small and unimportant town, also known as Lefkotheon. The main activity of the town inhabitants was farming. During this era, Ledra did not have the huge growth that the other Cypriot coastal towns had, which was primarily based on trade.

Roman and Byzantine times


In Byzantine times the town was also referred to as Lefkousia and also as Kallinikisis. In the 4th century AC, the town became the seat of bishopship, with bishop Saint Tryphillius (Trifillios), a student of Saint Spyridon.

After the destruction of Salamis
Salamis, Cyprus
Salamis was an ancient Greek city-state on the east coast of Cyprus, at the mouth of the river Pedieos, 6 km north of modern Famagusta. According to tradition the founder of Salamis was Teucer, son of Telamon, who could not return home after the Trojan war because he had failed to avenge his...

 by Arab raids in 647, the existing capital of Cyprus, Nicosia became the capital of the island around 965, when Cyprus rejoined the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

. The Byzantines moved the islands administration seat to Nicosia, primarily for security reasons as coastal towns were often suffering from raids. Since then it remains as the capital of Cyprus. Nicosia had acquired a castle and was the seat of the Byzantine governor of Cyprus. The last Byzantine governor of the Island was Isaac Comnenus who declared himself emperor of the island and ruled the island from 1183–1191.

Medieval times


On his way to the Holy Land
Holy Land
The Holy Land is a term which in Judaism refers to the Kingdom of Israel as defined in the Tanakh. For Jews, the Land's identifiction of being Holy is defined in Judaism by its differentiation from other lands by virtue of the practice of Judaism often possible only in the Land of Israel...

 during the Third Crusade
Third Crusade
The Third Crusade , also known as the Kings' Crusade, was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin...

 in 1191, Richard I of England
Richard I of England
Richard I was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period...

 fleet was plagued by storms. He himself stopped first at Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 and then at Rhodes
Rhodes
Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

. Three ships, one of which was carrying Queen Joan of Sicily
Joan of England, Queen of Sicily
Joan of England was the seventh child of Henry II of England and his queen consort, Eleanor of Aquitaine.Joan was a younger maternal half-sister of Marie de Champagne and Alix of France...

 and Berengaria of Navarre
Berengaria of Navarre
Berengaria of Navarre was Queen of the English as the wife of King Richard I of England. She was the eldest daughter of King Sancho VI of Navarre and Sancha of Castile. As is the case with many of the medieval queens consort of the Kingdom of England, relatively little is known of her life...

, Richard's bride-to-be. Two of the ships were wrecked off Cyprus, but the ship bearing the Joan and Berengaria made it safely to Limassol. Joan refused to come ashore, fearing she would be captured and held hostage by Isaac Comnenus, who hated all Franks. Her ship sat at anchor for a full week before Richard finally arrived on the 8th of May. Outraged at the treatment of his sister and his future bride Richard invaded.

Richard laid siege to Nicosia, Richard finally met and defeated Isaac Comnenus at Tremetousia. Richard became ruler of the island but sold the island to the Knights Templar
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

. The Knights Templar ruled the island having bought it from Richard the Lionheart for 100.000 gold byzantiums. Their seat was the castle of Nicosia. On Easter day on the 11th of April 1192 the people of Nicosia revolted and drove the Knights Templar off the city. Having driven the Knights Templar away, fearing their return the Nicosians demolished the castle of the city almost to its foundations.

Guy of Lusignan
Guy of Lusignan
Guy of Lusignan was a Poitevin knight, son of Hugh VIII of the prominent Lusignan dynasty. He was king of the crusader state of Jerusalem from 1186 to 1192 by right of marriage to Sibylla of Jerusalem, and of Cyprus from 1192 to 1194...

, King of Jerusalem, bought Cyprus from the Knights Templar and brought many noble men and other adventurers, from France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Jerusalem, Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

, the Principality of Antioch
Principality of Antioch
The Principality of Antioch, including parts of modern-day Turkey and Syria, was one of the crusader states created during the First Crusade.-Foundation:...

 and Kingdom of Armenia
Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia
The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia , also known as the Cilician Armenia, Kingdom of Cilician Armenia or New Armenia, was an independent principality formed during the High Middle Ages by Armenian refugees fleeing the Seljuk invasion of Armenia...

, to the island. Guy shared the land he had bought among them and Nicosia became capital off their kingdom. He imposed harsh feudal system and the vast majority of Cypriots were reduced to the status of serfs. The Frankish rule of Cyprus started from 1192 and lasted until 1489. During this time, Nicosia was the capital of the medieval Kingdom of Cyprus
Kingdom of Cyprus
The Kingdom of Cyprus was a Crusader kingdom on the island of Cyprus in the high and late Middle Ages, between 1192 and 1489. It was ruled by the French House of Lusignan.-History:...

, the seat of Lusignan
Lusignan
The Lusignan family originated in Poitou near Lusignan in western France in the early 10th century. By the end of the 11th century, they had risen to become the most prominent petty lords in the region from their castle at Lusignan...

 kings, the Latin Church and the Frankish administration of the island. During the Frankish rule, the walls of the city were built along with many other palaces and buildings, including the gothic Saint Sofia Cathedral
Selimiye Mosque (Nicosia)
Selimiye Mosque or Agia Sofia Cathedral, formerly Cathédrale Sainte Sophie, is located in the Turkish controlled northern part of the walled city of Nicosia. It is the main mosque in the city. It is housed in the largest and oldest surviving gothic church in Cyprus possibly constructed on the site...

. The tombs of the Lusignan
Lusignan
The Lusignan family originated in Poitou near Lusignan in western France in the early 10th century. By the end of the 11th century, they had risen to become the most prominent petty lords in the region from their castle at Lusignan...

 kings can be found there. The first Lusignan castle was built during the reign of King Henry I, 1211. On seals of the king and his mother Alix in 1234, a castle with one or two towers is depicted surrounded with the inscription “CIVITAS NICOSIE”. The exonym Nicosia appeared with the arrival of the Lusignans. The French-speaking
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 Crusaders either could not, or did not care to, pronounce the name Lefkosia, and tended to say "Nicosie" translated into Italian and then internationally known as "Nicosia".
In 1374 Nicosia was occupied and ravaged by the Genoans
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

 and in 1426 from the Mamelukes of Egypt
Mamluk
A Mamluk was a soldier of slave origin, who were predominantly Cumans/Kipchaks The "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior...

.

In 1489 Cyprus was captured by the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

. Nicosia was their administrative center and the seat of the Venetian Governor. Since the threat from the Ottomans was visible, the Venetian Governors of Nicosia emphasized in their letters the need for all the cities of Cyprus to be fortified. In 1567 Venetians built the new fortifications of Nicosia, which are well-preserved until today, demolishing the old walls built by the Franks as well as other important buildings of the Frankish era including the King's Palace, other private palaces and churches and monasteries of both Orthodox and Latin Christians. The new walls took the shape of a star with eleven bastions. The design of the bastion is more suitable for artillery and a better control for the defenders. The walls have three gates, to the North Kyrenia Gate
Kyrenia Gate
The Kyrenia Gate is a gate in the Nicosia walls, in North Nicosia, Cyprus. It was the gate which was used for transport to the northern areas, especially Kyrenia.The gate was built in 1567 by Venetians, as a part of the new city walls...

, to the west Paphos Gate and to the east Famagusta Gate. The river Pedieos
Pedieos
The Pedieos is the longest river in Cyprus. The river originates in the Troodos Mountains close to Machairas Monastery and flows northeast across the Mesaoria plains, through the capital city Nicosia...

 used to flow through the Venetian walled city. In 1567 it was later diverted outside onto the newly built moat for strategic reasons, due to the expected Ottoman attack.

Ottoman and British administration


On July 1 st 1570 the Ottomans
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 invaded the island. On the 22nd of July, Piale Pasha having captured Paphos
Paphos
Paphos , sometimes referred to as Pafos, is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about west of the...

, Limassol
Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

 and Larnaca
Larnaca
Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

 marched his army towards Nicosia and laid siege to the city. The city managed to last 40 days under siege until it's fall on 9 September 1570. Some 20,000 residents died during the sige and every church, public building, and palace was looted. After its siege it was reported that the walls that were ruined, Nicosia retained very few inhabitants. The main Latin churches were converted into mosques, such as the conversion of Saint Sofia Cathedral into the Selimiye Mosque
Selimiye Mosque (Nicosia)
Selimiye Mosque or Agia Sofia Cathedral, formerly Cathédrale Sainte Sophie, is located in the Turkish controlled northern part of the walled city of Nicosia. It is the main mosque in the city. It is housed in the largest and oldest surviving gothic church in Cyprus possibly constructed on the site...

. From 1570 when the Ottomans took over Nicosia, the old river bed through the walled city was left open and was used as a dumping ground for refuse, where rainwater would rush through clearing it temporarily.

Nicosia was the seat of the Pasha
Pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

, the Greek Archbishop, the Dragoman
Dragoman
A dragoman was an interpreter, translator and official guide between Turkish, Arabic, and Persian-speaking countries and polities of the Middle East and European embassies, consulates, vice-consulates and trading posts...

 and the Qadi
Qadi
Qadi is a judge ruling in accordance with Islamic religious law appointed by the ruler of a Muslim country. Because Islam makes no distinction between religious and secular domains, qadis traditionally have jurisdiction over all legal matters involving Muslims...

. When the newly settled Turkish population arrived they generally lived in the north of the old riverbed. Greek Cypriots remained concentrated in the south, where the Archbishopric of the Orthodox Church was built. Other ethnic minority groups such as the Armenians and Latins came to be settled near the western entry into the city at Paphos Gate.
On 5 July 1878 the administration of the island was officially transferred to Great Britain
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. On 31 July 1878, Garnet Wolseley
Garnet Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley
Field Marshal Garnet Joseph Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley, KP, GCB, OM, GCMG, VD, PC was an Anglo-Irish officer in the British Army. He served in Burma, the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, China, Canada, and widely throughout Africa—including his Ashanti campaign and the Nile Expedition...

, the first High Commissioner
High Commissioner
High Commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment.The English term is also used to render various equivalent titles in other languages.-Bilateral diplomacy:...

, arrived in Nicosia. He immediately established a skeletal administration by sending officers to each district to supervise the administration of justice and obtain all possible information about the area. Garnet Wolseley immediately established a Post Office at his camp at Kykko Metochi monastery outside Nicosia. Garnet Wolseley lived at ‘Monastery Camp' until a prefabricated residence had been built for him near Strovolos on the site of today's Presidential Palace.

At the time of British administration, Nicosia was still contained entirely within its Venetian walls. Although full of private gardens and amply supplied with water carried to public fountains in aqueducts, the streets remained unpaved and just wide enough for a loaded pack animal. In 1881, macadamized roads through the town were completed to connect with the main roads to the coastal towns but no roads were asphalted until after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. A series of openings in the Venetian walls provided direct access to areas beyond the walls. The first opening was cut in the Paphos Gate in 1879. The Limassol or Hadjisavva opening, now Eleftheria Square linked the city to the government offices in 1882. In June of that year, the municipal limits were extended to “a circle drawn at a distance of five hundred yards beyond the salient angles of the bastions of the fortifications. An opening was made at the Kyrenia Gate in 1931 after one of Nicosia's first buses proved too high to go through the original gate. Many more openings followed. During the post-war period the villages around Nicosia began to expand. By 1958 they had been engulfed in suburbia. Only Strovolos and Aglandja maintained separate physical identities, chiefly because of intervening state-owned land. By this time, the old city was increasingly given over to shops and workshops.

In 1955 an armed struggle against the British rule began aiming to unite the island with Greece, Enosis
Enosis
Enosis refers to the movement of the Greek-Cypriot population to incorporate the island of Cyprus into Greece.Similar movements had previously developed in other regions with ethnic Greek majorities such as the Ionian Islands, Crete and the Dodecanese. These regions were eventually incorporated...

. The struggle was led by EOKA
EOKA
EOKA was an anticolonial, antiimperialist nationalist organisation with the ultimate goal of "The liberation of Cyprus from the British yoke". Although not stated in its initial declaration of existence which was printed and distributed on the 1st of April 1955, EOKA also had a target of achieving...

, a Greek Cypriot nationalist military resistance organisation, and supported by the vast majority of Greek Cypriots. The unification with Greece failed and instead the independence of Cyprus was declared in 1960. During the period of the struggle, Nicosia was the scene of violent protests against the British rule.

Independence and division


In 1960 Nicosia became the capital of the Republic of Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, whose constitution was based on the co-operation of the island's two main communities, Greek and Turkish Cypriots. In December 1963, during the aftermath of a constitutional crisis, skirmishes
Cypriot intercommunal violence
Cypriot intercommunal violence refers to periods of sectarian conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the island of Cyprus from 1963 to 1974.-Background:...

 broke out between Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. Nicosia was divided into Greek and Turkish Cypriot quarters. The dividing line, which cuts through the city, was named Green line because the pen used by the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 officer to draw the line on a city map was green.

On the 15th July 1974, there was an attempted coup d'état led by the Greek military junta to unite the island with Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. The coup ousted president Makarios III
Makarios III
Makarios III , born Andreas Christodolou Mouskos , was the archbishop and primate of the autocephalous Cypriot Orthodox Church and the first President of the Republic of Cyprus ....

 and replaced him with pro-enosis
Enosis
Enosis refers to the movement of the Greek-Cypriot population to incorporate the island of Cyprus into Greece.Similar movements had previously developed in other regions with ethnic Greek majorities such as the Ionian Islands, Crete and the Dodecanese. These regions were eventually incorporated...

 nationalist Nikos Sampson
Nikos Sampson
Nikos Sampson was the de facto president of Cyprus who succeeded Archbishop Makarios, President of Cyprus, in 1974. Sampson was a journalist and a member of EOKA, which rose against the British colonial administration, seeking Enosis of the island of Cyprus with Greece...

.

On the 20th July 1974, the Turkish army invaded
Turkish invasion of Cyprus
The Turkish invasion of Cyprus, launched on 20 July 1974, was a Turkish military invasion in response to a Greek military junta backed coup in Cyprus...

 the island on the pretext of restoring the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus. However, even after the restoration of constitutional order and the return of Archbishop Makarios III to Cyprus in December 1974, the Turkish troops remained on the island occupying the northeastern portion of the island. The invasion was given the codename Operation Attila
Operation Attila
Operation Attila may refer to:*Operation Attila , a plan for the Nazi occupation of Vichy France*Operation Atilla, actions of the Turkish armed forces during the invasion of Cyprus...

 and included two phases.

The second phase of the Turkish invasion was performed on the 14th August 1974, where the Turkish army advanced their positions, eventually capturing a total of 37% of Cypriot territory including the northern part of Nicosia and the cities of Kyrenia
Kyrenia
Kyrenia is a town on the northern coast of Cyprus, noted for its historic harbour and castle. Internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyrenia has been under Turkish control since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974...

 and Famagusta
Famagusta
Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus and is capital of the Famagusta District. It is located east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour of the island.-Name:...

. The fighting left the island with a massive refugee problem. Out of a population of 600,000, an estimated 200,000 Greek-Cypriots had been uprooted and forced to flee south of the Attila line
United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus
The United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus runs for more than along what is known as the Green Line and has an area of . The zone partitions the island of Cyprus into a southern area effectively controlled by the government of the Republic of Cyprus , and the northern area...

, while an estimated 60,000 Turkish-Cypriots remained south of the Attila line, uncertain of their fate.

On February 13, 1975 the Turkish Cypriot community declared the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus
Turkish Federated State of Cyprus
Turkish Federated State of Cyprus in Turkish. The state which is occurred between 1975 and 1983.The UN General Secretary came to Cyprus on 25–26 December 1974, and demanded that bilateral talks be initiated between the two communities...

 in the area occupied by Turkish forces. On November 15, 1983, Turkish Cypriots proclaimed their independence as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

The Turkish invasion, the continuous occupation of Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 as well as the self-declaration of independence of the TRNC have been condemned by several United Nations Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council. The Security Council is reaffirming their condemnation every year.

Municipalities



The Nicosia Municipality
Nicosia Municipality
Nicosia Municipality , is the municipal government which is responsible for all the municipal duties of Nicosia.-History:The municipal council was elected according to the Municipal Ordinance of 1882, and the District Commissioner with one Greek and one Turkish adviser undertook municipal affairs...

 is responsible for all the municipal duties and responsibility on the southern part of city. The Nicosia Turkish Municipality
Nicosia Turkish Municipality
Nicosia Turkish Municipality , is the governing body of North Nicosia. It was established in 1958 and was recognized by Article 173 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. After 1974, it became the municipality of North Nicosia. The current mayor is Cemal Metin Bulutoğluları.- External links...

, founded in 1958, carried out municipal duties on the northern part of city.

Nicosia Municipality


South Nicosia is political, economic and cultural centre of the Republic of Cyprus. Greater Nicosia is subdivided into seven municipalities, but the metropolitan authority is the Municipality of Nicosia itself – within whose boundaries the Constitution states that the main government buildings and headquarters must be situated. The other municipalities in the city are Strovolos
Strovolos
Strovolos is a municipality of Nicosia. With a population of near 70,000, it is the second biggest municipality of Cyprus, after Limassol, and the biggest municipality of Nicosia...

, Lakatamia, Latsia
Latsia
Latsia , once a small village on the south east outskirts of Nicosia is today one of the largest and most populous suburbs of the city. It hosts the new Nicosia General Hospital, the new GSP Stadium and the new campus of the University of Cyprus....

, Aglandjia, Engomi
Engomi
This article is about the suburb of Nicosia. For the ancient settlement near Famagusta, see: EnkomiEngomi is a suburb of the Cypriot capital Nicosia. It has a population of around 13,600 . It is a mainly residential neighbourhood with many large villas...

, Agios Dhometios and the newly formed (as of 2011) Geri
Geri
Geri can refer to:*Geri , village in Cyprus*Geri, wolf in Norse mythology from the story of Geri and Freki*Geri Allen , American jazz pianist and music producer...

 & Tseri
Tseri
Tseri is a suburb in Cyprus to the south of the Cypriot capital, Nicosia. The region had a population about of 300 people before 1974. Its inhabitants are known as "Tseriotis" or "Tserkotis" for males and "Tseriotissa" or "Tserkotissa" for females...

.

According to the constitution of Cyprus Nicosia Municipality was divided into a Greek and Turkish sector with two Mayors: a representative of the Greek
Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots are the ethnic Greek population of Cyprus, forming the island's largest ethnolinguistic community at 77% of the population. Greek Cypriots are mostly members of the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 community which was the majority, and a second one representing the Turkish
Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots are the ethnic Turks and members of the Turkish-speaking ethnolinguistic community of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The term is used to refer explicitly to the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, whose Ottoman Turkish forbears colonised the island in 1571...

 community. The Mayors and the members of the Council were appointed by the President of the Republic. Since 1986, the Mayors and members of the Council are elected. The Mayor and the Municipal Councillors are elected by direct popular suffrage but into separate ballots – one for the Mayor and the other for all the Councillors. Municipal elections are held every five years.

The Municipality of Nicosia is now headed by the Mayor, who is Eleni Mavrou
Eleni Mavrou
Eleni Mavrou is the mayor of Nicosia, Cyprus. She was elected in December 2006 becoming the first female mayor of Cyprus's capital. Born in Kyrenia in 1961, her family was forced to leave their house in 1974 due to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and since then has been residing in Nicosia.-...

 (former lagilator of the communist party
Communist party
A political party described as a Communist party includes those that advocate the application of the social principles of communism through a communist form of government...

 AKEL, supported by her own political party, socialist party EDEK and the Democratic Party  and the council composed of 26 councilors, one of who is Deputy Mayor.

The Mayor and the Councillors exercise all the powers vested in them by the Municipal Corporation Law. Sub-committees consisting of members of the Municipal Council act only on an advisory level and according to the procedures and regulations issued by the Council.

The Mayor is the executive authority of the Municipality, exercising overall control and managing the Municipal Council. The Council is responsible for appointing personnel employed by the Municipality. All municipalities in the Republic of Cyprus are members of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities. The executive Committee is the governing organ of the Union. This Committee is appointed from among the representatives of the Municipalities for a term of two and a half years. The Mayor of Nicosia is the President of the Union and the Chairman of the Executive Committee.

Nicosia Turkish Municipality


The first attempt to establish a Nicosia Turkish Municipality
Nicosia Turkish Municipality
Nicosia Turkish Municipality , is the governing body of North Nicosia. It was established in 1958 and was recognized by Article 173 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. After 1974, it became the municipality of North Nicosia. The current mayor is Cemal Metin Bulutoğluları.- External links...

 was made in 1958. In October 1959, the British Colonial Administration passed the Turkish Municipality Committees law. In 1960 with the declaration of independence of Cyprus, the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus gave Turkish Cypriots the right to establish their own municipality. As negotiations between the two sides to establish separate municipalities failed in 1962, implementing legislation was never passed. Since the complete division of Nicosia following the Turkish Invasion in 1974, the Nicosia Turkish Municipality has become the de facto local authority of northern Nicosia. The Nicosia Turkish Municipality is a member the Union of Cyprus Turkish Municipalities. The current mayor is Cemal Metin Bulutoğluları
Cemal Metin Bulutoglulari
Cemal Metin Bulutoğluları is the mayor of the capital of Northern Cyprus, North Nicosia's Nicosia Turkish Municipality . He was born in Nicosia. He lived his childhood in Ortaköy Marmara neighbourhood and graduated from the Nicosia Turkish High School in 1979. He graduated from Eastham College of...

 from National Unity Party (UBP).

Culture



Museums


The Cyprus Archaeological Museum in Nicosia is the biggest archaeological museum in the country. It is home to the richest and largest collection of Cypriot antiques in the world. These consist exclusively of objects discovered on the island. The exhibits have been stored in the same building outside the city walls of Nicosia ever since the establishment of the museum in 1882 by the British administration reigning the island at that time.

The Ethnographic Museum hosts the largest collection of ethnographic artifacts in the country which includes costumes, pottery, lace, metalwork, woodcarving and paintings.

In old Nicosia, the Ethnological Museum (Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios Mansion
Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios Mansion
The Hadjigeorgakis Korensios Mansion is situated near the Archbishopric, in the neighbourhood of Saint Antonios in Nicosia, Cyprus, where the wealthy notables of the Greek community traditionally used to live.-Overview:...

) is the most important example of urban architecture of the last century of Ottoman domination which survives in old Nicosia. Today, the mansion which was awarded the Europa Nostra
Europa Nostra
Europa Nostra, the pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage, is the representative platform of 250 heritage NGOs active in 45 countries across Europe...

 prize for its exemplary renovation work, functions as a museum where a collection of artifacts from the Byzantine, Medieval and Ottoman era are displayed.

Performing Arts


Nicosia offers a wide variety of musical and theatrical events, organized either by the municipality or independent organizations.

THOC (Theatrical Organization of Cyprus) was founded in 1971 and is a member of the European Theatre Convention
European Theatre Convention
-Programs :According to its website, the programs of the European Theatre Convention include the following programs :-Current members:-Board and representative:...

. It hosts a wide variety of theatre shows on a regular basis at the Latsia Municipal Theatre, Nea Skini and Theatro Ena.

Skali Aglantzias is a multifunctional space in the Scali area of Aglantzia. It is made up of an open ­ air square, amphitheatre, exhibition space, restaurant & bar. It hosts many shows, concerts and cultural events.

The Satirical Theatre of Cyprus was founded in October 1983 by actor and director Vladimiros Kafkaridis. It is the first Free Theatre to be supported financially by the government. It is also the only drama school in Cyprus.

Strovolos Municipal Theatre is located in the municipality's main avenue. It has hosted many charitable, cultural and educational events, as well as theatre shows, concerts, operas, ballets both of national and international standing.

Notable cultural events are also frequently hosted by the Ammochostos Gate Cultural Centre, the Municipal Arts Centre, the Municipal Centre of Contemporary Social and Cultural Services and many others.

In June 2011, Nicosia launched it's campaign to become the European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

 in 2017.

Education


Nicosia has a large student community as it is the seat of five universities, the University of Cyprus
University of Cyprus
The University of Cyprus is a public coeducational university established by the Republic of Cyprus in 1989. It admitted its first students in 1992 and has currently approximately 6000 students .-History:...

 (UCY), the University of Nicosia
University of Nicosia
The University of Nicosia is the largest private university in Cyprus, with campuses based in the three largest cities in Cyprus: Nicosia, Lemesos and Larnaca. It was formally known, until September 2007, as Intercollege...

, the European University, the Open University of Cyprus
Open University of Cyprus
The Open University of Cyprus , in Lefkosia , is the only university in Cyprus dedicated to distance learning.-Methodology:...

 and Frederick University
Frederick university
Frederick University is one of the largest private universities operating in the Republic of Cyprus a full member state of the European Union. It is well respected both nationally and internationally for offering undergraduate and graduate programs of study that lead to recognized degrees...

.

Economy


Nicosia is the financial and business heart of Cyprus. The city hosts the headquarters of all Cypriot banks namely Marfin Popular Bank
Marfin Popular Bank
Marfin Popular Bank is the second largest banking group in Cyprus behind the Bank of Cyprus. Trading on the island as Laiki Bank , it currently holds a 15% share of the market in loans and a 19% share of deposits. Its shares are listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange and the Athens Stock Exchange...

 (formerly known as Popular Bank), Bank of Cyprus
Bank of Cyprus
Bank of Cyprus is a major Cypriot financial institution. In terms of market capitalisation it is the country's second largest company.As of December 31, 2005, the Group's Total Assets reached C£13,22bn and the Group's Shareholders' Funds were C£818mn . At 30 September 2008, the Group's Total...

, the Hellenic Bank
Hellenic Bank
Hellenic Bank Public Company Ltd , is the third largest bank on the island of Cyprus with a 10.47% share of deposits and 7.92% of the loans market. Its shares are listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange....

. Further, the Central Bank of Cyprus
Central Bank of Cyprus
The Central Bank of Cyprus , is the central bank of the Republic of Cyprus, located in Nicosia. It was established in 1963. Its current governor is Mr. Athanasios Orphanides...

  is located in the Acropolis area of the Cypriot capital.

A number of international businesses base their Cypriot headquarters in Nicosia, such as the big four audit firms PWC
PwC
PricewaterhouseCoopers is a global professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest professional services firm measured by revenues and one of the "Big Four" accountancy firms....

, Deloitte, KPMG
KPMG
KPMG is one of the largest professional services networks in the world and one of the Big Four auditors, along with Deloitte, Ernst & Young and PwC. Its global headquarters is located in Amstelveen, Netherlands....

 and Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is one of the largest professional services networks in the world and one of the "Big Four" accountancy firms, along with Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers ....

. International technology companies such as NCR
NCR
NCR can refer to several topics:* nCr as an abbreviation of the mathematics formula "from n choose r"* NCR Corporation, a technology company specializing in solutions for businesses, formerly known as National Cash Register...

 and TSYS
TSYS
Total System Services, Inc. is the largest processor of merchant acquirers and bank credit card issuers. Creators of TS2 and TS1. TSYS is located in Columbus, Georgia, United States. TSYS acquired a leading prepaid card processor, Clarity Payment Solutions, Inc...

 have their regional headquarters in Nicosia. The city is also home to local financial newspapers such as the Financial Mirror
Financial Mirror
The Financial Mirror is the top-selling daily business newspaper in Cyprus. The main paper is published in English but a supplement in Greek is also included....

 and Stockwatch.

Cyprus Airways
Cyprus Airways
Cyprus Airways is the national airline of Cyprus, a public limited company with its head offices located in the capital of the island, Nicosia. It operates scheduled services to 41 destinations in Europe, the Middle East and the Gulf. It flies from both airports of the island, Larnaca and Paphos,...

 has its head offices in the entrance of Makariou Avenue.

According to a recent UBS survey in August 2011, Nicosia is the wealthiest per capita city of the Eastern Mediterranean
Eastern Mediterranean
The Eastern Mediterranean is a term that denotes the countries geographically to the east of the Mediterranean Sea. This region is also known as Greater Syria or the Levant....

 and the tenth richest city in the world by purchasing power in 2011.".

Climate


Nicosia has a hot subtropical semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 BSh) with long, hot and dry summers with relatively wet and mild winters.

Transportation


Nicosia is linked with other major cities in Cyprus via a modern motorway network
Motorways and roads in Cyprus
Since the arrival of the first motor cars on the island in 1907, Cyprus has developed one of the most modern road networks in Europe. According to 2002 statistics, the road network in the free areas of Cyprus consists of about 7,206 km of paved and 4,387 km of unpaved roads...

. The A1
A1 motorway (Cyprus)
The A1 motorway marked the beginning of an ambitious government project to link all the main cities on the island with modern 4 lane highways. It is 73 km long and is free of any at-grade intersections...

 connects Nicosia with Limassol
Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

 in the south with the A6
A6 motorway (Cyprus)
The A6 highway marked the ending of an ambitious government project to link all the main cities on the island with modern four-lane, high-speed highways. It is 66 km long and is free of any at-grade intersections...

 going from Limassol onto Paphos
Paphos
Paphos , sometimes referred to as Pafos, is a coastal city in the southwest of Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Old Paphos and New Paphos. The currently inhabited city is New Paphos. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, about west of the...

.
The A2
A2 motorway (Cyprus)
thumb|leftThe A2 motorway branches off the A1 at Pera Chorio-Nisou and connects to the A3. It is locally referred to as the Nicosia - Larnaca motorway . It is also called "the tube" due to its mostly straight with a very limited number of exits....

 links Nicosia with the south eastern city of Larnaca
Larnaca
Larnaca, is the third largest city on the southern coast of Cyprus after Nicosia and Limassol. It has a population of 72,000 and is the island's second largest commercial port and an important tourist resort...

 with the A3
A3 motorway (Cyprus)
The A3 motorway is a modern motorway linking Larnaca International Airport, the largest airport in Cyprus, and Ayia Napa, a very popular clubbing paradise. It is 55 km long. The road was built in five phases and took about 10 years to be completed...

 going from Larnaca to Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa
Ayia Napa is a resort at the far eastern end of the southern coast of Cyprus, famous for its sandy beaches. In recent years, apart from being a family holiday destination, it has become a 'party capital' together with Ibiza, Rimini and Mykonos...

. The A9
A9 motorway (Cyprus)
A9 is a highway under construction which is planned to connect Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, with the Troödos Mountains. Currently this highway is completed until the small village of Dhenia. The project has stopped until the safety of planers will be established...

 connects Nicosia to the west Nicosia district villages and the Troodos mountains
Troodos Mountains
Troodos is the biggest mountain range of Cyprus, located in the center of the island. Troodos' highest peak is Mount Olympus at 1,952 metres.The Troodos mountain range stretches across most of the western side of Cyprus...

.

Public transport within the city is currently served by a new and reliable bus service. For more information about bus routes in Nicosia refer to OSEL. Many taxi companies operate in Nicosia. Fares are regulated by law and taxi drivers are obliged to use a taximeter
Taximeter
A taximeter is a mechanical or electronic device installed in taxicabs and auto rickshaws that calculates passenger fares based on a combination of distance travelled and waiting time...

.

In 2010, as part of the Nicosia Integrated Mobility Plan, a pre-feasibility study for a proposed tram netowork has taken place and sponsored by the Ministry of Communications and Works. The study compared two scenarios, with and without the operation of a tramway in terms of emitted polluting loads. The study realised that the reduction in the pollutants per transported passenger for the scenario with tramway, fluctuates from 5-10% and reaches up to 90% specifically in the central roads of Nicosia.

In 2011, the Nicosia Municipality introduced the Bike in Action scheme, a bicycle sharing system which covers the Greater Nicosia area. The scheme is run by the Inter-Municipal Bicycle Company of Nicosia (DEPL). While the bike-lane network is being upgraded, the scheme aims to serve a large portion of the population, university students and tourist groups in their movement to and from downtown. The scheme has 27 docking stations spread across seven municipalities and involves 315 bikes which people can borrow from any designated station and return to any other station of their choosing. Specifically the Nicosia Municipality has installed 100 bikes in 5 stations, the Aglandjia Municipality 50 bikes at 4 stations, the Municipality of Strovolos
Strovolos
Strovolos is a municipality of Nicosia. With a population of near 70,000, it is the second biggest municipality of Cyprus, after Limassol, and the biggest municipality of Nicosia...

 80 bikes at 8 stations, the Municipality of Dali
Dali, Cyprus
Dali is a large village in Cyprus, located south east of the capital Nicosia and close to the ancient city of Idalion. By the 2001 census it had a total population of 5,834.Now in 2007 Dali has reached the population of 7,564....

 20 cycles at 3 stations, the Municipality of Ayios Dhometios 20 cycles at 2 stations, the Municipality of Latsia
Latsia
Latsia , once a small village on the south east outskirts of Nicosia is today one of the largest and most populous suburbs of the city. It hosts the new Nicosia General Hospital, the new GSP Stadium and the new campus of the University of Cyprus....

 15 bikes at 2 station and the Municipality of Engomi 30 cycles at 3 stations. People do not have to register to use the bikes as long as they have a credit or debit card in order to pay a €150 security deposit. The deposit is paid back within 24 hours of returning the bike.

There is currently no train network in Cyprus however plans for the creation of an intercity railway are currently under way. The first railway line on the island was the Cyprus Government Railway
Cyprus Government Railway
The Cyprus Government Railway was a narrow gauge railway network that operated in Cyprus from October 1905 to December 1951. With a total length of , there were 39 stations, stops and halts, the most prominent of which served Famagusta, Prastio Mesaoria, Angastina, Trachoni, Nicosia,...

 which operated from 1905 to 1951. There were 39 stations, stops and halts, the most prominent of which served Famagusta, Prastio Mesaoria, Angastina, Trachoni, Nicosia, Kokkinotrimithia, Morphou, Kalo Chorio and Evrychou. It was closed down due to financial reasons.

Pre-Independence (1882–1959)

  • Christodoulos Severis, 15 November 1882–31 July 1888.
  • Achilleas Liassides, 1 August 1888–10 April 1906.
  • Antonios Theodotou, 8 January 1888–10 April 1906.
  • Mehmet Şevket Bey, 11 April 1908–31 March 1911.
  • Antonios Theodotou, 1924–1926
  • George Markides, 6 April 1926–31 March 1929.
  • Themistoclis Dervis, 5 April 1929–28 September 1946.
  • Ioannis Clerides, 1 June 1946–31 May 1949 (Last elected Mayor until 1986).
  • Themistoclis Dervis, 1 June 1949–18 December 1959.

Post-Independence (1959-1974)

  • Diomedes Skettos, 1959–1960.
  • George M. Spanos, 1960–1962; 1963–1964.
  • Odysseas Ioannides, 1964–1970.
  • Lellos Demetriades, December 1971–July 1974 (dismissed by the July 15 Coup).

(South Nicosia)

  • Christoforos Kithreotis, August 1974.
  • Lellos Demetriades, October 1974–2001 (Elected in 1986; reelected in 1991 and 1996).
  • Michalis Zampelas
    Michalis Zampelas
    Michalis Zampelas is a businessman and politician. He was the mayor of Nicosia from 2002–2006 and is the general manager of PricewaterhouseCoopers Cyprus...

    , 2002–2006.
  • Eleni Mavrou
    Eleni Mavrou
    Eleni Mavrou is the mayor of Nicosia, Cyprus. She was elected in December 2006 becoming the first female mayor of Cyprus's capital. Born in Kyrenia in 1961, her family was forced to leave their house in 1974 due to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and since then has been residing in Nicosia.-...

    , 2007–present.

Sports


Football


Football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 is the most popular sport in Cyprus, and Nicosia is home of three major teams of the island; APOEL, Omonia
AC Omonia
Athletic Club Omonoia Nicosia is a professional football club that plays in the Cyprus capital city Nicosia. The club was established in 1948 and became a member of the Cyprus Football Association in 1953...

 and Olympiakos
Olympiakos Nicosia
Olympiakos Nicosia is a football club in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia. The club was founded in 1931. It is a founding member of the Cyprus Football Association. The club colors are black and green. Olympiakos's home ground is the New GSP Stadium of 23,400 seat capacity...

. APOEL and Omonia dominate Cypriot football
Football in Cyprus
Football in Cyprus is by far the most popular sport.Short of some sporadic surprise wins versus higher-ranked countries, mostly on home soil, the national team has not enjoyed any success of note...

. There are also many other football clubs in Nicosia and the suburbs.
GSP Stadium is the largest football stadium in Nicosia.

Other sports


Nicosia is also the home for many clubs for basketball, handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

 and other sports. APOEL and Omonia have basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 and volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 sections and Keravnos
Keravnos
Keravnos Strovolos is one of the powerhouses of Cypriot basketball. Founded in 1926, it is based in the Nicosia suburb of Strovolos. In the past, the club also had a football team.-History:...

 is one of the major basketball teams of the island. The Gymnastic Club Pancypria (GSP), the owner of the Neo GSP Stadium
Neo GSP Stadium
The Pancyprian Gymnastic Association Stadium is a football stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus. Although small by international standards, it is the largest stadium in Cyprus, with a capacity of 22,859 and was built in 1999. It serves as the home stadium for the Nicosia Clubs of APOEL, Olympiakos Nicosia...

, is one of the major athletics clubs of the island. Also, all teams in the Futsal
Futsal
Futsal is a variant of association football that is played on a smaller pitch and mainly played indoors. Its name is a portmanteau of the Portuguese futebol de salão and the Spanish fútbol de salón , which can be translated as "hall football" or "indoor football"...

 First Division are from Nicosia.

Venues


Nicosia has some of the biggest venues in the island; The Neo GSP Stadium
Neo GSP Stadium
The Pancyprian Gymnastic Association Stadium is a football stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus. Although small by international standards, it is the largest stadium in Cyprus, with a capacity of 22,859 and was built in 1999. It serves as the home stadium for the Nicosia Clubs of APOEL, Olympiakos Nicosia...

, the biggest in Cyprus, with capacity of 23,400 is the home for the national team
Cyprus national football team
The Cyprus national football team represents Cyprus in association football and is controlled by the Cyprus Football Association, the governing body for football in Cyprus. Cyprus' home ground is the GSP Stadium in Nicosia and the current coach is Nikos Nioplias...

, APOEL, Olympiakos
Olympiakos Nicosia
Olympiakos Nicosia is a football club in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia. The club was founded in 1931. It is a founding member of the Cyprus Football Association. The club colors are black and green. Olympiakos's home ground is the New GSP Stadium of 23,400 seat capacity...

 and Omonia
AC Omonia
Athletic Club Omonoia Nicosia is a professional football club that plays in the Cyprus capital city Nicosia. The club was established in 1948 and became a member of the Cyprus Football Association in 1953...

. The other big football stadium in Nicosia is Makario Stadium
Makario Stadium
Makario Stadium is an all seater Multi-purpose stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus. It was the largest and main sports venue of the capital up to the construction of the new GSP stadium in 1999. At present it is mostly used for football matches and is the home ground of Digenis Morphou and Ethnikos Assia....

 with capacity of 16,000.
The Eleftheria Indoor Hall
Eleftheria Indoor Hall
The Eleftheria Athletic Center , officially named Tassos Papadopoulos Eleftheria Indoor Hall The hall is used mainly for basketball events, although can be used for badminton, gymnastics, karate, taekwondo, handball, squash, volleyball, judo, table tennis...

 is the biggest basketball stadium in Cyprus, with capacity of 6,500 seats and is the home for
the national team
Cyprus national basketball team
The Cypriot national basketball team is the national team of Cyprus. It is run by the Cyprus Basketball Federation. It is affiliated to FIBA, in the FIBA Europe zone.- History :The team participates at international and European tournaments...

, APOEL
APOEL B.C.
APOEL is a professional basketball team from Nicosia, Cyprus. APOEL is one of the most successful basketball clubs in Cyprus by winning 10 Championships, 11 Cups and 10 Supercups. APOEL B.C. is part of the APOEL multisport club.-History:...

 and Omonia
AC Omonia
Athletic Club Omonoia Nicosia is a professional football club that plays in the Cyprus capital city Nicosia. The club was established in 1948 and became a member of the Cyprus Football Association in 1953...

.
The Lefkotheo indoor arena
Lefkotheo
The Lefkotheo arena was the first major indoor sports hall to be constructed in Cyprus. Its construction was finished in 1980, and it is located next to the Makario Stadium with which it shares a common car park...

 is the volleyball stadium for APOEL and Omonia.

International and European events


Nicosia hosted the 2000 ISSF World Cup Final
2000 ISSF World Cup Final
For the 2000 ISSF World Cup in the seventeen Olympic shooting events, the World Cup Final was held in October 2000 in Nicosia, Cyprus for the shotgun events, and in November 2000 in Munich, Germany for the rifle, pistol and running target events.-Shotgun:...

 shooting events for the shotgun. Also the city hosted two basketball events; the European Saporta Cup in 1997 and the 2005 FIBA Europe All Star Game in the Eleftheria Indoor Hall
Eleftheria Indoor Hall
The Eleftheria Athletic Center , officially named Tassos Papadopoulos Eleftheria Indoor Hall The hall is used mainly for basketball events, although can be used for badminton, gymnastics, karate, taekwondo, handball, squash, volleyball, judo, table tennis...

. Another event which was hosted in Nicosia were the Games of the Small States of Europe
Games of the Small States of Europe
The Games of the Small States of Europe is a biennial, multi-sport event, launched by the Republic of San Marino, organized by and featuring the National Olympic Committees of eight European small states since 1985...

 in 1989 and 2009.

Famous Nicosians

  • Tassos Papadopoulos
    Tassos Papadopoulos
    Tassos Nikolaou Papadopoulos was a Cypriot politician. He served as the fifth President of the Republic of Cyprus from February 28, 2003 to February 28, 2008.His parents were Nicolas and Aggeliki from Assia. He was the first of three children...

    , ex-president of the Republic of Cyprus (2003–2008).
  • Glafkos Klerides
    Glafkos Klerides
    Glafcos Ioannou Clerides is a Greek-Cypriot politician and the fourth President of the Republic of Cyprus.Clerides was the eldest son of the lawyer and statesman Ioannis Clerides....

    , president of the Republic of Cyprus (1993–2003).
  • George Vasiliou
    George Vasiliou
    Georgios Vasos Vassiliou was the third President of the Republic of Cyprus from 1988 to 1993. He was also the founder and leader of the Cypriot United Democrats party and a highly successful businessman....

    , president of the Republic of Cyprus (1988–1993).
  • Ioannis Kasoulides
    Ioannis Kasoulides
    Ioannis Kasoulides is a Cypriot politician and member of European Parliament.He is member of European People's Party and Democratic Rally He was elected as member of Cyprus Parliament on 1991 and also served as minister of the government of Cyprus for the period 1993-2003.Ioannis Kasoulides is...

    , Member of the European Parliament
    Member of the European Parliament
    A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

    .
  • Kıbrıslı Mehmed Kamil Pasha
    Kibrisli Mehmed Kamil Pasha
    Kâmil Pasha , also spelled as Kiamil Pasha was an Ottoman statesman of Turkish Cypriot origin in the late 19th century and early 20th century, who became, as aside regional or international posts within the Ottoman state structure, grand vizier of the Empire during four different periods.He was...

    , Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
  • Fazıl Küçük
    Fazil Küçük
    Fazıl Küçük was the first Vice President of the Republic of Cyprus.Fazıl Küçük, the son of a farmer, was born in Nicosia in 1906. After graduating from the Turkish High School in Nicosia, Küçük went on to study medicine at the Universities of Istanbul, Lausanne and Paris...

     former vice president of the Republic of Cyprus (1960–1963).
  • Benon Sevan
    Benon Sevan
    Benon Vahe Sevan was the head of the United Nations' Oil-for-Food Programme, established in 1996 and charged with preventing Iraq's government from using the proceeds from oil exports for anything but food, medicine and other items to benefit the civilian population.Born into an Armenian-Cypriot...

    , Armenian ex-head of UN Oil for Food program.
  • Nicolas Economou
    Nicolas Economou
    Nicolas Economou was a Cypriot composer and pianist born in Nicosia, Cyprus.A precociously gifted pianist, Economou came to international attention at the 1969 Tchaikovsky Competition when he was aged 16. After studying at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow he eventually moved via Düsseldorf...

    , composer.
  • Alkinoos Ioannidis
    Alkinoos Ioannidis
    Alkinoos Ioannidis is a Greek-Cypriot composer, lyricist, singer and orchestrator.He was born in Nicosia on 19 September 1969. His artistic family, with a painter father and poet brother was a source of inspiration for him. He first wanted to study drums, but couldn't due to the lack of a drum...

    , singer.
  • Michalis Hatzigiannis
    Michalis Hatzigiannis
    Michael Hatzigiannis is a popular Greek Cypriot recording artist. From 2000 to 2009, Hatzigiannis has received over 30 certifications in Greece alone, making him one of most successful artists of the decade. Hatzigiannis is also known for representing Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998...

    , singer.
  • Stavros Konstantinou
    Stavros Konstantinou
    Stavros Konstantinou is a Greek Cypriot singer who rose to popularity after winning Super Idol, the Greek version of Pop Idol, shown by MEGA TV in 2004, in its only season under that name...

    , singer, winner of Greek Super Idol
    Super Idol
    Super Idol was the first Greek version of the British television hit show Pop Idol. It was a talent contest to find a pop performer. The first series of the show, from February 8 to June 17, 2004, was hosted by Themis Georgantas and the winner was Stavros Konstantinou.Due to low ratings Mega...

    .
  • Alparslan Türkeş
    Alparslan Türkes
    Alparslan Türkeş was a Cypriot-born Turkish nationalist politician who was the founder and former president of the Nationalist Movement Party party...

    , a Turkish nationalist politician, who served as a Deputy Prime Minister
    Deputy Prime Minister
    A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some counties, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different, though both...

     of Turkey
  • Giannos Kranidiotis
    Giannos Kranidiotis
    Giannos Kranidiotis was a Greek diplomat and politician....

    , a Greek diplomat and politician
  • Mick Karn
    Mick Karn
    Andonis Michaelides , better known as Mick Karn, was an English multi-instrumentalist musician and songwriter, who came to fame as the bassist for the art rock band Japan, from 1974 to 1982....

    , bassist, singer.

Twinnings with Southern Nicosia, controlled by the Republic of Cyprus

Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 Schwerin
Schwerin
Schwerin is the capital and second-largest city of the northern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The population, as of end of 2009, was 95,041.-History:...

, Germany, since 1974 Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, since 1988 Odessa
Odessa
Odessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 .The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement,...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, since 1996 Shiraz
Shiraz, Iran
Shiraz is the sixth most populous city in Iran and is the capital of Fars Province, the city's 2009 population was 1,455,073. Shiraz is located in the southwest of Iran on the Roodkhaneye Khoshk seasonal river...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, since 1999
Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, since 2004 Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

, China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, since 2004 Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, Spain, since 2004 Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, since 2004
Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, since 2004 Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, since 2004 Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

, since 2004 Kumanovo
Kumanovo
Kumanovo is a city in the Republic of Macedonia and is the seat of Kumanovo Municipality which is the largest municipality in the country. Municipal institutions include a city council, mayor and other administrative bodies.-Name:...

, Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...


Twinnings with Northern Nicosia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Municipality

Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, since 1988 Adana
Adana
Adana is a city in southern Turkey and a major agricultural and commercial center. The city is situated on the Seyhan River, 30 kilometres inland from the Mediterranean, in south-central Anatolia...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 Bursa, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 since 1990

Collaborations

Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Russian Federation, since 2000 Nicosia, Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, since 2000 Qingdao
Qingdao
' also known in the West by its postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a major city with a population of over 8.715 million in eastern Shandong province, Eastern China. Its built up area, made of 7 urban districts plus Jimo city, is home to about 4,346,000 inhabitants in 2010.It borders Yantai to the...

, China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, since 2001
Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, since 2002, 2003 Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, since 2003

See also

  • Cypriot Orthodox Church
    Cypriot Orthodox Church
    The Church of Cyprus is an autocephalous Greek church within the communion of Orthodox Christianity. It is one of the oldest Eastern Orthodox autocephalous churches, achieving independence from the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East in 431...

  • Divided cities
    Divided cities
    A divided city is one which, as a consequence of political changes or border shifts, presently constitutes two separate entities. Listed are the localities and the state they belonged to at the time of division...

  • Foreign relations of Cyprus
    Foreign relations of Cyprus
    Cyprus is a member of the United Nations along with most of its agencies as well as the Commonwealth of Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Council of Europe...

  • Foreign relations of Northern Cyprus
    Foreign relations of Northern Cyprus
    The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, due to its unrecognized status internationally, is dependent on Turkey to facilitate its contacts with the international community...

  • List of Cypriot companies
  • United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus
    United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus
    The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus was established in 1964 to prevent a recurrence of fighting between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order and a return to normal conditions...


External links