Pinsteps. Archaeology in Nicosia
Places to visit in Никосия. Languages: en

Richard the Lionheart, King of England, arrived in Nicosia, Cyprus, in May 1191 during the Third Crusade. He had been shipwrecked on the island while on his way to the Holy Land. The ruler of Cyprus, Isaac Comnenus, demanded that Richard pay a ransom for his freedom and that of his men; Richard refused and instead captured the island's main port, Limassol. He then marched on to Nicosia, where he defeated Isaac's forces and took control of the city, installing a friendly ruler. Richard stayed in Nicosia for several weeks, during which time he strengthened the city's fortifications and prepared for his onward journey to the Holy Land.

Archaeological excavations in the area of the modern city hall describe the history of a building called Church B in Nicosia, which has two main architectural phases dating back to the Middle Byzantine period and the Medieval period. The building was initially a compressed cross-in-square type church that was later destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the same area as a single-aisled vaulted church. The evidence suggests that at least the initial phase of Church B was the Catholicon of a Middle Byzantine monastery of Nicosia, providing insight into the city's religious and cultural history.

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Evgeny Praisman
Nicosia and Kakopetria of May 1, 2023

A one-day tour of Nicosia and Kakopetria is a great way to experience the history, culture, and natural beauty of Cyprus. Starting in Nicosia, the capital city of Cyprus, you can explore the island's rich history by visiting numerous historical sites, such as the Venetian walls, Ledra Street, and the buffering zones.

After a morning of sightseeing in Nicosia, head to the picturesque village of Kakopetria in the Troodos Mountains. This charming village is renowned for its traditional architecture, including beautiful stone houses and winding cobblestone streets. Stroll through the town to admire the beautiful homes or visit the Church of Transfiguration, which boasts stunning frescoes from the post-Byzantine era.

One of the most popular attractions in Kakopetria is the Karkotis River, which offers a perfect setting for relaxing sightseeing or a refreshing waterfall breeze of the clear waters. For those who enjoy hiking, the Vateri Nature Trail is a great way to explore the surrounding mountains and forests.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
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