Life in Northern Cyprus

Get to Know Lefkoşa, the Beautiful Capital of Northern Cyprus

Get to Know Lefkoşa, the Beautiful Capital of Northern Cyprus

Lefkoşa is the beautiful capital of Northern Cyprus, boasting a rich history and an array of ancient artifacts from various cultures scattered throughout the city, adding to its allure.

Cyprus, the third-largest island in the Mediterranean, is divided into its northern and southern parts. The north segment, protected by Turkey, is known as Northern Cyprus. The city of Nicosia on the island of Cyprus is divided into two parts: the northern section is called Northern Nicosia or Lefkoşa. Lefkoşa is considered the capital of Northern Cyprus. Hosting numerous civilizations throughout history has led to the discovery of many historical artifacts. Many tourists visiting this city are enthusiasts of historical remnants. If you’re keen on becoming more acquainted with this city, stay with us until the end of this article.


Introduction to the City of Nicosia (Lefkoşa) in Northern Cyprus

The beautiful city of Lefkoşa is one of the cities in Northern Cyprus, situated on the Mediterranean Sea. Among the ancient walls of Lefkoşa, remnants of four civilizations can easily be observed. Throughout history, this city has hosted the Kingdom of Lusignan, Venetian traders, and prominent Ottoman and British families. One of the best-preserved and oldest structures from that era in this city is the Grand Caravanserai, designed and built with 68 rooms across two floors. Numerous ancient artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age have been discovered in numerous archaeological excavations in this city. Lefkoşa became the capital of Cyprus during the Byzantine period. In present-day Lefkoşa, perhaps the most significant site to visit is the area known as Old Lefkoşa, nestled within high walls. Today, due to its international universities, this city has an academic atmosphere and hosts many students from around the world.

Where is Northern Nicosia located?

In the previous section of this article, you’ve become somewhat familiar with the city of Lefkoşa. This city is situated in the country of Northern Cyprus. Northern Lefkoşa is located in the northern half of the city of Nicosia. During the war between the Turks and Greeks in Cyprus, the city of Nicosia was divided into two halves, with the southern part called Nicosia belonging to the Greeks and the northern region known as Northern Nicosia belonging to the Turks. Northern Nicosia, or Lefkoşa, is considered the capital and the largest city in Northern Cyprus.

Sights in the City of Lefkoşa, Northern Cyprus

Lefkoşa in Northern Cyprus has a rich history and numerous tourist attractions. In this section, we’ll acquaint you with some of the captivating landmarks of this city.

  1. Gate of Ravelin: The Gate of Ravelin is one of the three entrance gates to the old city of Lefkoşa, situated in the northern part of the Venetian walls. It was reconstructed by the Ottomans in 1821, adding a domed room above the gate. Today, this room serves as an information center for tourists.
  2. Ancient City Walls of Lefkoşa: During the Renaissance, the Venetians constructed these large walls surrounding the city to protect it from foreign invasions. This long wall had a star-shaped layout, with eleven bastions and three gates. To build these walls, the Venetians demolished older walls constructed by the Lusignans.
  3. The Mevlevi Tekke: Located south of the Gate of Ravelin, this Tekke is one of Cyprus’s oldest and most important historical structures. It is said that the Mevlevi order entered Cyprus during the Ottoman conquest. The building, housing the tombs of 16 significant members of the order, is now exhibited as a museum. A Persian inscription of a verse or quote by Moulana (Rumi) is written over the entrance of this Tekke, adding to its historical significance.
  4. The Great Khan: Considered one of Northern Cyprus’s most important historical buildings, The Great Khan was constructed between 1572 and 1579. The Khan had a total of 68 rooms, with the lower rooms serving as shops and the upper rooms as guesthouses or a hotel. This caravanserai is now used as a prominent tourist attraction, selling various souvenirs.
  5. St. Sophia Cathedral (Selimiye Mosque): The St. Sophia Cathedral, known today as the Selimiye Mosque, is one of the most significant remaining Gothic architectural landmarks in Cyprus. Its construction began in 1209 and was completed in 1326. After the Ottomans renamed it Selimiye Mosque, alterations were made, including the addition of elements such as the mihrab and pulpit typical in mosques.
  6. The Church of St. Nicholas: Built in the 14th century on the ruins of a small church from the 6th-century Byzantine period, the Church of St. Nicholas is another example of Gothic architecture in the city. After the Ottoman conquest, this building served various purposes, such as storage and different shops.
  7. The Great Turkish Bath: Constructed on the ruins of a church during the Ottoman period, Ottoman architecture is evident in this bath. Interestingly, the only remnants of the destroyed church are at its entrance. Light in this bath is provided through holes in its dome-shaped ceiling.
  8. The Lapidary Museum: Located in the eastern part of the Selimiye Mosque or St. Sophia Cathedral, historians believe this place was once used as a guesthouse.
  9. Haydar Pasha Mosque: Another historical building in Lefkoşa with Gothic architecture, built in the 14th century. Originally a church, it was converted into a mosque after the Ottomans conquered the island. Like other mosques, features like the minaret, mihrab, etc., were added.
  10. Dervish Pasha Mansion: Situated within the walls of the old city of Lefkoşa, this mansion belonged to one of the wealthy individuals of Lefkoşa. It was reconstructed and transformed into an ethnographic museum by the country’s government between 1987 and 1988.
  11. Historical Houses of Lefkoşa: In various corners of Lefkoşa, you’ll find numerous houses, each belonging to a specific period.

Now that you’re familiar with the attractions of Lefkoşa, we invite you to see beautiful images of various places in this city:

Frequently Asked Questions About Lefkoşa, Northern Cyprus

In this article, we’ve tried to cover all the essential aspects related to the city of Lefkoşa. You’ve become quite familiar with its history and its tourist attractions. If you still have any uncertainties about this city, stay with us. We’ve answered some of your most common questions in this regard.

Where is Northern Nicosia located?

The city of Nicosia on the island of Cyprus is divided into two parts: the southern and the northern. Its northern part is the city of Lefkoşa, considered the capital of Northern Cyprus.

Final Word

The city of Lefkoşa, or Northern Nicosia, the capital of Northern Cyprus, holds a very rich history. This city has hosted countless civilizations, leading to the diverse historical landmarks scattered throughout the city. Almost everywhere you step into the city, you’ll encounter traces of a civilization. The presence of churches, mosques, caravanserais, and numerous historical houses throughout the city has attracted many tourists from around the world. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Lefkoşa is considered an academic city due to its multiple universities.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.