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North Cyprus Cities

North Cyprus Nicosia (Lefkosa)

Lefkosa is the capital and the largest city of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The name of the capital city of Northern Cyprus dates back approximately 2,250 years to the original settlement of Ledra, which was later renamed Lefkotheon, but was also sometimes referred to as Ledron. During the Byzantine period in North Cyprus the name changed again to Lefkon, meaning poplar grove, there were many poplar trees lining the banks of the Pedeios River, so the name was quite appropriate.

Since the seventh century A.D., Nicosia has been the capital of Cyprus (except for a brief period during Venetian rule) because the Arab raids made so many coastal settlements unsafe and Nicosia was just far enough inland to escape the worst.

Although Nicosia was founded in ancient times, it did not develop until the Lusignan Era in North Cyprus. Massive walls encircling the old city were built by the Venetians in 1570, with the aim of protecting the city against a possible Ottoman attack. The walls of North Cyprus Nicosia, which still remain almost as they were built, consist of eleven bastions. A charming Northern cyprus mosque (Bayraktar Mosque) was erected on Costanza Bastion soon after the Ottoman conquest in 1571 and there are many Northern Cyprus historic monuments dating from the Middle Ages and later. Among these are several examples of Gothic and Ottoman buildings. Since Cyprus remained under Ottoman rule for more than three centuries, all the towns in Northern Cyprus reflect the ancient Turkish influence both in their architecture and in the lifestyle of the people.

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