The history of Nicosia
The first settlement in Nicosia was in Early Bronze Age in the south west part of present city. Many antiquities of the Lusignans, Venetians, Ottomans and British periods were found here. The city Ledra was built in the seventh century B.C. in the south-west part of today’s Nicosia. Then Lefkonas, the son of the Egyptian King Ptolomy 1 started to develop the city. The name of Nicosia changed a lot of times: Ledra, Lefkotheon, Kermia, Lefkon, Kallinikisis, Lefkosia. The Byzantines made Nicosia a capital in about 965 A.D.
Today the Old city of Nicosia is the main place for visiting. It is surrounded by walls of 4,5 metres thick in the form of a star. It was constructed for better observation of enemies. There are three gates in the walls: Kyrenia Gates in the north, Paphos Gates in the west and Famagusta Gates in the east.
The best way for tourists to feel the atmosphere of the old days in Nicosia is to take a walk along old city’s streets. Among the sights you need to see Atatürk Square, the Mevlevi Tekke, Great Khan (Büyük Han), Arabahmet District, the Lusignan Cathedral of St. Sophia and many others.