Nicosia, What To See In The Ancient Capital



Located in the center of the island of Cyprus, Nicosia (Lefkosia in greek) today is a modern commercial and business center. The center of the city is its old area, surrounded by a Venetian sandstone wall with a moat and the heart-shaped bastions. The city shows tourists to its most distinctive within its walls, where for example the district of Laiki Geitonia with its restored houses the local taverns and craft shops, restaurants and galleries. Take a stroll through the narrow alleys of the old town with their overhanging balconies or on the lovely pedestrian area, with its craft shops, its cafes and taverns.

Capital of the island since the eleventh century, with its museums, churches greek orthodox and magnificent Venetian walls, is a good starting point to learn the business and historic island. The Cyprus Museum, 14 compact rooms which house an impressive collection of archaeological finds from the Neolithic to the Byzantine period of inestimable value, including a Roman statue of Aphrodite of Soli, dating back to the first century AD. Also interesting is the Leventis Museum can trace the entire history of the city and the Cathedral of St.John, decorated with frescoes of the eighteenth century, which are both located within the Archdiocese.

The Mosques and palm trees give the town an old oriental atmosphere. Take a look at the cathedral of “Agios Ioannis” (St. John), with its frescoes, and the wonderful museum of Byzantine icons. In the evening you can attend a concert near the ditch or see an exhibit in the Porta Famagusta , one of the three inputs originating in the old city, which today, after being restored, is used as a cultural center.

Venture out from Nicosia between olive groves and orchards, head into the pine forest and discover the treasures that this region has to offer. Near the village of Deftera, 11 km south-west of Nicosia, is the Church of Panagia Chrysospiliotissa, dedicated to Our Lady of the Cave, the catacomb structure indicates that the church dates back to early Christianity. A religious festival is celebrated by the church on August 15, day of the Virgin Mary.

Tamassos, Politiko in the village, 20 km south-west of Nicosia. Tamassos was a rich city-states of antiquity, famous for its copper mines. Excavations have brought to light the Royal Tombs (VI sec. Ac) and 41 workshops for the processing of copper connected to Astarte-Aphrodite. Once famous for its copper production.

In the village of Politiko to 500 m from the Royal Tombs, here is the monastery of Agios Irakleidios. When St. Paul and St. Barnabas came to Cyprus, were guided by Tamassos Irakleidios, who later ordered the bishop of the city. He was martyred and buried in the cave where he lived and preached. The monastery, founded in 400 AD, was destroyed and rebuilt several times until Archbishop Chrysanthos did renew the church and the cells in 1773. The saint’s relics are preserved in a reliquary of silver gilt. Organized tours of the monastery are scheduled Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.00 to 12.00. And use of cameras or camcorders inside the convent.

Continuing, meet on the road a multitude of charming villages, such as Pear and Fikardou with their cobbled streets and stone houses and their brick clay mixed with mud. Fikardou 1.5 km east of the village of Gourri, on-street Machairas Lefkosia, was declared an ancient monument to preserve the exceptional woodwork and folk architecture of the houses of the eighteenth century. The houses Katsinioros and Achilleas Dimitri, parts of which date back to the sixteenth century, were restored as shining examples of rural architecture. As a result they won the Europa Nostra award in 1987. A 1.5 km north-west of the village of Agrokipia, Agios Panteleimon, Monastery of the XVIII century with a gabled roof, today’s hermitage to three nuns.

Near the Lefkosia-Anthoupolis, 10 minutes by road from Lejkosia, stands the monastery Archangelos Michai l. The church, dating from the Byzantine period, was built by Archbishop Nikiforos whose tomb can be seen at the church. Nel1636 and was rebuilt in 1713 when it was acquired by the monastery of Kykkos. The iconostasis dates back to 1650 and you can find a fresco of the Archangel Michael in 1785. It now houses the research center of the monastery of Kykkos.

Church of Peristerona. 27 km from Lefkosia on the Lefkosia-Troodos road. The church of Saints Bamaba veterinarian and built there was probably built in the early tenth century and is an outstanding example of Byzantine architecture with five domes forming a cross. Beside the church stands the Turkish mosque of Peristerona, witness the long and peaceful coexistence of greek-turkish Cypriots and Cypriots in the village, as well as throughout Cyprus, when Turkey had not yet adopted its policy of division and expansion.

20 km south of Lefkosia, Lefkosia-Larnaka/Lemesos on the road, lies the region of Dali. The area contains the remains dating from all periods of the island. Excavations of Ancient Dali, one of the city-state of Cyprus, are currently underway in the city of Dali. A Pera Chorio stands the Byzantine church of Agioi Apostoloi, offering exquisite wall paintings dating from the late twelfth century, regarded by scholars as the most precious examples of the style Comnenus in Cyprus. The church of Agios Dimitrios (XVI) Is an important building in this area. Near Potamia are some medieval ruins, namely those of the summer palace of King Franks of Cyprus, as well as remains of a Gothic church.

The monastery of Machairas. 41 km south of Lefkosia, between the villages of Deftera and Pera. Founded by two monks in 1148 when an icon of the Virgin Mary was found in a nearby cave, the monastery is situated on a picturesque hillside in the mountains of Machairas. The sacristy of the monastery, located in the basement, has been restored thanks to a donation from the Foundation Anastasios G. Leventis. These are the original cells of the monks, stables and warehouses have been restored to this scopo.Nella sacristy a room with books and ancient manuscripts of the monastery, and containing icons and other objects of worship. The monks of this monastery are strictly observant, and follow a framework similar to those of Mount Athos in Greece . Monday, Tuesday and Thursday we organize group visits led by h. 9.00 to h. 12.00. All ‘inside the monastery has banned the use of cameras and camcorders.

Originally posted 2012-08-13 12:07:59.

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