Pinsteps. The Chatzigeorgakis Kornesiou mansion in Nicosia
Places to visit in Никосия. Languages: en

The Chatzigeorgakis Kornesiou mansion is the most significant example of urban architecture during the Turkish rule in Nicosia. Located near the Archdiocese in the Agios Antonios parish, it was the traditional residence of affluent Greeks.

Remarkably, the architectural style resembles a medieval manor house, which is unsurprising considering it was allegedly constructed on the site of a previous (possibly medieval) manor house. The restoration of this residence received the prestigious Europa Nostra award.

Hatzigeorgakis Kornesios held one of the highest positions offered to non-Muslims by the Ottoman authorities, serving as a dragoman, or interpreter of the Gate, from 1779 until he died in 1809. After being falsely accused, he was brought to Constantinople and executed.

Built-in 1793, the two-story house features the owner's monogram and construction date on a marble slab within the entrance. The property is P-shaped and encompasses an interior courtyard with a striking fountain and private Turkish bath (hammam).

The ground floor housed the service quarters, kitchen, stables, and various storage and support spaces. The main rooms, including the formal reception area and bedrooms, were connected to the solar system. The onda, or formal reception room, showcases intricate wood carvings, gold ornamentation, and a potential oil painting of an imaginary city.

Today, a covered wooden staircase with a stone base leads from the courtyard to the first floor's entrance hall, the solar room. The main rooms, official reception area, and bedrooms are again connected to the solar system. The onda, situated at the east wing's end, is distinct from other rooms with its ornate, gilded decorations and possible oil painting of an imaginary city.

Though not original, the mansion's furniture dates back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, donated by the house's final owner. The first-floor rooms serve as exhibition spaces, displaying a range of materials and authentic objects to educate visitors about the Hatzigeorgakis family and the mansion's restoration. Exhibits also feature artefacts from the Byzantine, medieval, and Turkish rule periods.

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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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