LEFKOŞA, North Cyprus

Lefkoşa, Nicosia or Lefkosia …all names for the last remaining divided city in the world, located in the centre of Cyprus.  Lefkoşa is a large city with many districts, and we’ll give you a brief introduction to the heart of the city and its history.

Lefkoşa has been the capital of Cyprus since the 7th century and was once a prosperous and prominent city for many.  Buildings, monasteries and churches have been built in a prolific fashion during the city’s long history, but Lefkoşa has also unfortunately been a place of many conflicts – such as the invasion by the Marmelukes in 1426 and the subsequent arrival of the Venetians.  They reduced the city in size and fortified it with the walls that still remain to this day.  In the process of altering the city the Venetians also destroyed many fine examples of architecture spanning hundreds of years, including the resting place of the Lusignan monarchs.

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Kalavaç, North Cyprus

Kalavaç is a neat little village to visit if you are aroundabout the Gecitkale or Ercan area, perhaps you may be on an airport run and fancy taking a detour.  It has recently been touted in the local media as one of several villages to undergo renovation and restoration with funds donated in 2006 by the EU Commission and UNDP (United Nations Development Project).

It can be reached along the Geçitkale to Boğaz main road, and you will see signs around 10 miles after turning off the main junction in Lefkoşa.  Turning left you travel up a long straight road through green fields (well it was winter when we visited!) and up into the village which itself sits on the lowland slopes of the Mesaoria Plain.

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