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Nicosia (Greek Levkosía) the capital of Cyprus, is now Europe's only militarily divided city. One of the world's oldest cities, Nicosia was the center of an independent kingdom as early as the 7th century BC. Known in ancient times as Ledra, it came under Byzantine rule in the early 4th century AD and passed to Guy of Lusignan, the Latin king of Jerusalem, in 1192. The Lusignan kings held Nicosia until it was captured in 1489 by the Venetians. The city passed to the Ottoman Turks in 1571 and to the British in 1878. It was made capital of British-ruled Cyprus in 1925. Nicosia became the capital of independent Cyprus in 1960. The city has been divided into Turkish and

Greek Cypriot zones since the Turkish invasion in 1974. Then there is the old town and Laiki Yitonia , where the paved areas with no cars and pavement cafe's is charming and full of character and a must for the visitor who wishes too see what the town looked like in years gone by. Nicosia , as all the other towns of Cyprus have grown very much larger , very quickly, and since the invasion in 1974 the population has boomed to 165,000. The growth has been outwards over the Mesaoria plain.


The city of Nicosia has a great variety of sights, tourist attractions and places of interest.The Lefkosia jewellery Museum, the Museum of the History of the Cypriot Coinage and the Municipal Arts Centre, are all worth a visit. The Leventis Municipal Museum of Lefkosia, with an imaginative presentation of the capital's history, was awarded the title "1991 European Museum of the Year". Don't forget to visit the unique Cyprus Museum, housing the island's most important collection of Cypriot antiquities and treasures from the Neolithic Age to the Roman Period.Another award winner is the renovated "Pyli Ammochostou" - Famagusta Gate - one of the original entrances to the old city, which won the Europa nostra award for its restoration. Many old churches are to be found in this part of the town, and other places of interest are the Folk Art and Byzantine Museums, the Archbishopric, the Cathedral of Agios Ioannis with its beautiful frescoes, the National Struggle Museum and the intriguing house of Chatzigeorgakis Kornesios- a fine example of 18th century architecture- which houses the Ethnological Museum. © 2008