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Kyrenia

 

Kyrenia Harbour
The horseshoe shaped harbour is the focal point of the town. The historical Kyrenia harbour, with its colorful fishing boats and yachts and its lively bars and cafes is the heart of Kyrenia, both for locals and tourists.

Bellapais Abbey
The remains of an exquisite Gothic building in the beautiful mountain village of Bellapais are what are left of the building built by Augustinian monks in 1025 AD. Originally known as the 'Abbey of Our Lady of the Mountains', the Franks renamed it 'Lapais'. In time it became known as 'Abbeye de la Paix'. It is now the scene of many wonderful concerts and a vantage point to view countless beautiful sunsets.

Buffavento Castle
At an altitude of 954 meters, Buffavento, meaning wind defying, was originally built as a watchtower against Arab raids by the Byzantines. It was later converted into a castle by the Lusignans, who more generally used it as a prison ratther than a military stronghold. Althought little of the original building remains, a visit is worth it if only for the magnificent vistas from the site.

Antiphonitis Kilisesi
The frescocovered walls of the Antiphonitis Monastery, located in the middle of the forest, are very interesting. The church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was built in the 12th C, however the narthex to its west and the gallery to its south were added later by the Lusignans. A sturdy vehicle is needed in order to visit this outlying Monastery, but it is well worth the visit.

St. Hilarion Castle
Rumored to be the inspiration for the Disney film 'Fanstasia', this castle sits atop the mountains overlooking Kyrenia. The site was originally the home of the hermit 'Hilarion', upon which a monastery was built in his honour. The castle, the third in a protective line, was built on the mountain tops to protect against attacks from the seafaring Arabs.

The Shipwreck Museum
The shipwreck, 14.75 meters long and 4.4 meters wide and displayed in one of the rooms of the Kyrenia Castle, is the oldest shipwrck ever discovered. The findings suggest that the ship was a Syrian commercial ship which sank off the coast of Kyrenia in the 3re C BC with a cargo of nearly 400 amphorae of supplies and footstuffs.

The Museum of Folk Arts
Within the historical yatch port of Kyrenia, an 18th C house now serves as the museum. Olive oil presses, primitive ploughts, cubes, a wooden threshing sled, agricultural tools, a loom and pulley wheels are on exhibition. Up the wooden stairs from the entrance hall, historic garments, table cloths, head scarves, woollen socks, wedding dresses, carved trousseau chests, silver embroidered bedcovers, cushions, bedsteads, wooden boards and window rolldown shutters can be seen.

Baldöken Graveyard
When the Ottomans conquered Cyprus in 1571, the land next to the municipality parking area, known today as the 'Baldoken Graveyard', was reserved as the 'Cemetery for soldiers'. It was used for the same purpose until the end of 17th C. A cistern, water canals and many tombs were built there. When the cemeterybegan to accept civilians, the name was changed to the present name. It is known also as 'Graveyard of the Forlorn'. St. Andrew's British Church, The District Club and a tennis court were built beside this graveyard. It was restored by the Vakif Office in 1995.

The Icon Museum
The Archangelos Church, located around the corner and up the slight hill from the historical Kyrenia harbour, was built in 1860 and is definitely worth seeing. A tower that was added after the church was built is a symbol that can be seen as a point of reference from every part of Kyrenia. The museum houses the many splendid icons that were collected from Kyrenia and its environs.

Kyrenia Castle
The impressive Kyrenia Castle on the eastern corner of the harbour was begun in the 7th C by the Byzantine sin order to protect the city against Arab raids. Additional construction during the Lusignan ana Venetian periods further enlarged and fortified the castle. In order to escape the damage that was visted upon both Nicosia and Famagusta by the raiding Ottomans, Kyrenia surrendered and hence the Castle remains almost as it was then.

 

Nicosia

 

Selimiye Mosque (Cathedral of St. Sophia)
Built by the Lusignans between 1208 and 1206, Selimiye is accepted to be the most important example of Gothic architecture in Cyprus. The monumental main door and the carved stone window above it are spectacular works of Gothic art. After the Ottoman conquest of Nicosia in 1570, a minaret was added to the cathedral and thus it was transformed into Hagia Sofia Mosque, witch was renamed in 1954 as Selimiye Mosque.

The Gambler's Inn
The Gambler's Inn at Asmaalti Square was built towards the end of the 17th C. In the entry hall of this Ottoman inn, there is a Medieval Gothic arch, which led historians to believe that the inn was built over the ruins of a monastery. There are 44 rooms around the inner courtyard.

Armenian Church (Notre Dame de Tyre)
The church on Sehit Salahi Sevket Street was built in the 8th century, probably by refugees from Jerusalem.

Kyrenia Gate
The Kyrenia Gate is the arched northern entry into the city of Nicosia, through the city walls. It was built by the Venetians in 1567. The gate used to be called 'Porta Del Proveditore' named after the Venetian engineer Proveditore Francesco. Inscriptions from Venetian and Ottoman times can be seen on the walls of the gate.

The Great Inn
The construction of the Inn was ordered by the first Ottoman governor of Cyprus, Muzaffer Pasha, in 1572. It's architecture resembles many other inns from this period in Anatolia. Around the inner courtyard of the stone inn are 68 rooms and 10 shops. The inn, after years of restoration, was reopened to visitors in 2002. It's souvenir shops, restaurants and Cypriot wine bar attract locals and tourists alike. On certain afternoons and evenings live music can be heard filing the inner courtyard.

The Mansion of Dervish Pasha
The 19th century mansion bears many characteristics of Turkish architecture of the period. This mansion belonged to Dervish Pasha, the publisher of the first Turkish newspaper 'Zaman' in Cyprus. The mansion was recently restored and transformed into an Ethnography museum.

Venetian Column
In the centre of Ataturk Square is the 20 feet high Venetian Column, moved from its original spot in Salamis to Nicosia as a tribute to Venetian rule in Cyprus. The Column was returned to Salamis by the Ottomans but returned to its present location under British rule. On top of the granite pillar the Lion of St. Mark was once found but now a copper globe has taken its place, at the bottom the coats of arm of noble Venetian families may be seen.

The Eaved House
The small building on the eastern side of the Bedesten was built under British rule. In one of its two rooms medieval gravestones and other statues are displayed. The second room is an atelier for the building of statues. Many local and visiting artists hold exhibitions in this wonderfully restored house.

Mevlevi Tekke Museum
The museum is located approximately 100 meters south of the Kyrenia Gate. It was built in the 17th Century. What remains of it today is used as a museum where a selection of Turkish art in Cyprus is on exhibit.

Arab Ahmet Mosque
The mosque, in the heart of the restored historical Arab Ahmet neighborhood, was built in place of a Lusignan church in 1845. The interior of the mosque is covered with marble, some of which dates back to Venetian and Lusignan times. There said to be tombstones from the 14th C under its stone floor.

 

Morphou (Güzelyurt)

 

Güzelyurt Museum of Archaeology & Natural History
The ground floor of the museum is devoted to natural history and holds cabinets of geological samples, stuffed fish, mammals, and birds native to Cyprus. Upstairs there is a small archaeological collection with the island's best display of Late Bronze Age and the recently discovered Ephesian Artemis.

Ancient City of Soli
One of the Nine Cyprus Kingdoms, Soli rebelled against the Persians, who were in power in 498 BC, and faced a severe defeat. Had its most brilliant days in the Roman Times, Soli was completely destroyed with the Arab Raids in the 7th C AD. What remains today is a Soli Basilica, oen of the oldest churches in Cyprus; and a 4000-spectator capacity Roman theatre.

Tumba Tou Skouru
Situated on the west of Güzelyurt-Kyrenia road, several kilometres north of Güzelyurt, is a little town of Late Bronze Era; Tumba Tou Skouru. The finding, discovered are on the exhibit in The Güzelyurt Museum of Archaeological and Natural History.

Vouni Palace
It was built by King Doxandros of Marion, who was a supporter of the Persian, in the 5th C BC with an aim to supervise the city of Soli, supporters of the Greek. The palace was destroyed by the Soli inhabitants in 380 BC never to be renovated again. Excavations brought to light golden and silver jewelry, silver cups, various silver coins. In the south of the palce are the traces of a 5th C BC Athena Temple.

 

Isleke-Karpaz

 

Apostle Andreas Monastery
Situated at the easternmost tip of the island of Cyprus, the Monastery has been an important pilgrimage destination for the Orthodox for hundreds of years. The oldest surviving part of the monastery is only a 15th C chapel.

Kantara Castle
Erected on a group of theep hills, Kantara was built to overclock Mediterrean to secure the safety of the coastline. The castle took its final shape, which survived today, under the rule of King of Cyprus James I, who made several changes in the architecture. With the Venetian conquest in 1525, Kantara Castle fell from fashion.

Golden Beach
This is a kilometres-long beach famous for its peculiar tiny sand of golden colour. Every year hundreds of Caretta sea-turtles come to this beautiful spot to lay their hatches. Golden Beach is the favourite spot of those who seek a tranquil and calm vacation.

Aphendrika
Aphendrika is considered one of the six important cities that existed in Cyprus at the beginning of the 2nd C BC. Nearby Aphrendika are three churches; Haghios Georgios, Panaghia Chrysiotissa and Panaghia Asomatos.

Haghios Philon
The early 5th C complex was built on the foundations of earlier Hellenistic and Roman structures. The edifice was destroyed by Arab raids in the 9th C. In the 12th C a domed Byzantine structure was built on the ruins of the previous construction.

The Panaghia Kanakaria Chruch
Although there is no trace left of the first church thought to have belonged to the early Byzantine period, the present church was rebuilt as a multi-dome church in the 14th C. The mosaics in the apsis, representing "Madonna col Bambino et Ognissanti", are one of the most noteworthy examples of early Byzantine art in Cyprus.

 

 
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