The Venetian walls of Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, are a unique and distinctive example of 16th-century military architecture. They were built between 1567 and 1570 by the Venetian Republic, which controlled Cyprus then, to protect the city from potential invasions, especially by the expanding Ottoman Empire.
The fortification design of the walls is characterised by their circular shape, with a perimeter of approximately 5 kilometres, encompassing the old city. The walls feature 11 heart-shaped bastions at regular intervals, three gates (Famagusta, Paphos, and Kyrenia), and a deep moat surrounding the walls. The walls were made of earth and stone, which helped to absorb cannon fire and provided better resistance to artillery attacks.
The outward-facing bastions are one of the key unique features of the Venetian walls. These bastions were designed to provide overlapping fields of fire, allowing defenders to protect one another from various angles. This design made it difficult for attackers to approach the walls without being exposed to defensive fire.
The Venetian walls of Nicosia hold significant historical and cultural value, as they are a testament to the city's rich past and the military engineering expertise of the Venetians. Today, the walls stand as an important tourist attraction and a symbol of the diverse heritage of Nicosia and Cyprus.