Cyprus / Nicosia

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Nicosia: the capital of contrasts ...

 Nicosia is undoubtedly the capital that combines the three elements of mixed cultures: the Cypriots, the Venetians and the Ottoman Turks.  The city is divided, with the northern part  under Turkish occupation and administration and the South belonging to the jurisdiction of the Cypriot State. The Cypriot part has been modernized, yet preserves unchanged those elements left in the wake of the various people who settled there. This is why you will find modern shops, entertainment venues, as well as a Hammam and Venetian buildings and churches. Nicosia presents the most striking evidence that beauty lies in the respect of diversity.

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The Old Town: A remarkable match of cultures

The Old City of NicosiaNicosia's old town already boasts 5000 years of existence and is a harmonious combination of well- preserved Venetian buildings with Ottoman and Greek Cypriot ones. It is located in the Centre of Nicosia and surrounded by Venetian walls with a perimeter of 5 km which span a section of occupied territory. The Old City is considered the core of Nicosia, in which small shops, pedestrianised cobblestone roads, beautiful homes and hammams have sprung up.

Our Lady Chrysaliniotissa : the first Orthodox Church of the Venetian OccupationChurch of Panagia Chrysaliniotissa

  The temple is the first Orthodox Church within the Venetian walls of Nicosia. Constructed in the 15th century by Helena Palaiologina, wife of the Frankish King John II, its importance lies in the purpose of its construction. It was the first attempt to satisfy the Orthodox community by creating a place of worship.

Hamam Omerye: Relax in the traditional oriental way!

The Hammam Omeriye A true architectural gem, Hamam Omerye, reopened in the Old City of Nicosia and promises to take you into the depths of the East! This Turkish bath was built in 1570 after a donation from Lala Mustafa Pasha and was named Omerye in honor of Omer, the Turkish Caliph. Its architecture is impressive; it is stone, with domes on the inside and the atmosphere seems ritualistic. If you want to experience the ultimate authentic oriental bath, Hamam Omerye is your opportunity.

The archaeological site of  TamassosAncient sanctuary of Aphrodite in Tamassos

The archaeological site of Tamassos is located approximately 20 kilometres from Nicosia, close to the villages of Politiko, Episkopio and Pera. The existence of the town as early as the 8th century BC has been confirmed by archaeological findings. On your visit you will see a row of graves from different periods, but your attention will be caught by the two stone tombs of the early dynastic period that have survived until today.

Gastronomy

The traditional zivania

 In the capital of the island beyond the glamorous restaurants and taverns you will find stores that supply residents and visitors with all the ' good ' of the land. Meats, dairy products, sweets and alcohol all have major representatives. Lountza, halloumi cheese, spoon sweets such as cherry and bitter orange, the commandaria variety of wine and the traditional "zivania" (with the raciness of raki) are easily found and are all worth trying.

 

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