The island has in its midst a fair city called Nicosia, which
is the capital of the kingdom, well walled, with its fine gates,
which are three, to wit the gate of Paffo, of Famagusta, and
Cirina. That of Famagusta, is the most beautiful, and in my judgment
the city of Barcelona has none to match it”~ P. Joan Lopez,
1770. During the Venetian expansion eastward in the 1500’s,
Nicosia (Lefkosia) was fortified with imposing stone walls and
massive gates. The famous Famagusta Gate still stands today,
proudly protecting the still-ancient town within from the modern
Through the Gate lies Laiki Geitonia, an old section which
has been lovingly restored. Wend your way through narrow stone
streets where crimson flowers cascade from window pots and
the aroma of traditional baking wafts through open doorways.
Explore jewelry and handicraft shops, dine in charming tavernas,
marvel at churches centuries old.
Those engrossed in history and art will make their way directly
to the Cyprus Museum, which holds the island’s priceless
treasures from the first stirrings of the Neolithic Age through
the Roman period. At the Byzantine Museum, encounter a dazzling
collection of early-Christian icons from the Mediterranean’s
Golden Age. The State Collection of Contemporary Art takes
a newer perspective, focusing on Cyprus’ modern artists,
some of whom have gained note on the international market.
Come full circle in time and visit the Cyprus Handicraft Center
workshops, where traditional arts are practiced today much
the same way they were in ages past. Relax and enjoy a splendid
Cypriot meal, accented by one of the island’s famous
Later, the night life beckons near Famagusta Gate, giving
expression to the Cypriots’ legendary spirit of celebration.