Pinsteps. City Hall excavation area in Nicosia
Places to visit in Никосия. Languages: en

According to archaeological evidence, the area of present-day Nicosia has been inhabited since the Chalcolithic period. The city's first major roads were built during the Middle Byzantine and Medieval periods. One road connected the eastern and western gates of the city walls, while another connected the Cathedral of Agia Sofia with the Monastery of St. Mary of the Augustinians. Nicosia became the capital of Byzantine Cyprus shortly after AD 965, and the Lusignan kings built the city's walls in the 14th century. The Venetians demolished the old walls in 1567 and erected new ones, which still stand today. The excavation of Palaion Demarcheion provided evidence that copper coins from the Byzantine Empire were used in Nicosia, possibly indicating an increase in government spending and the city's rise as the capital of Cyprus. The two main roads of Nicosia continued to be important commercial routes during the Ottoman and British periods.

The excavation at the Palaion Demarcheion site in the historic center of Lefkosia is the largest systematic excavation ever conducted within the walled city, offering a diachronic perspective into the city's history from the Middle Bronze Age to the 20th century. The site provides insight into the continuous human activity in the area, with a dense and complex system of architectural remains preserved. The site contains remains of religious and secular buildings, workshops, cemeteries, and a water management system. The excavation has provided significant information on the everyday life, commercial contacts, and people of Lefkosia, including human remains discovered in the cemeteries of two excavated churches. The findings are unique and provide valuable insight into Byzantine and Medieval Lefkosia.

The excavation of Palaion Demarcheion caused public concern due to its association with the construction of the new Town Hall of Lefkosia, and the international archaeological community was alarmed by the potential loss of an important site. After extensive discussions and negotiations, it was decided that the new building and antiquities would coexist, resulting in a unique historical and urban environment. Footbridges were designed to integrate the archaeological site into the modern urban landscape, allowing people to view the excavated areas. The preservation and promotional work of the site, in collaboration with the Municipality of Lefkosia, have created a channel of communication with the long past of Lefkosia and provide a beneficial symbiosis for the city and its visitors.

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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)
Здравствуйте! Меня зовут Женя, я путешественник и гид. Здесь я публикую свои путешествия и путеводители по городам и странам. Вы можете воспользоваться ими, как готовыми путеводителями, так и ресурсом для создания собственных маршрутов. Некоторые находятся в свободном доступе, некоторые открываются по промо коду. Чтобы получить промо код напишите мне сообщение на телефон +972 537907561 или на и я с радостью вам помогу! Иначе, зачем я всё это делаю?
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