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Famagusta - North Cyprus
Nicosia Kyrenia Famagusta
Ancient City of Alasia:
The partially excavated ruins of the city can be found strewn across fields just outside the town of Gazimagusa. Archeological findings at Alasia show that there was settlement in the area during the Middle Bronze Age.
Alasia's wealth and subsequent growth was based on trade in Cypriot cooper which during the sixteenth century B.C. was being exported to Anatolia, Syria and Egypt. Alasia's heyday came in the fifteenth century B.C. when Mycenaean trade in cooper with both eastern and western lands was on the increase.
Gazimagusa City Walls:
The defensive walls surrounding Gazimagusa were built by the Venetians primarily to keep the Ottomans out of the city-something which they managed to delay, but not prevent. The walls are almost completely intact today and vary in height from 15-17 meters and are up 9 meters thick. The total circumference of approximately 3.5 kilometers is fortified with towers and bastions.
Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque (St. Nicolas Cathedral):
The construc cathedral began around 1300 A.D. and was completed in 1336. It was used by the Lusignans for the coronation of the Kings of Jerusalem and was later used as a mosque by the Ottomans who renamed it after the general who led the 1571 invasion of the city.
St. Barnabas Monastery and Icon Museum:
The monastery was built close to the site of St. Barnabas tomb. St. Barnabas was stoned to death by the citizens of Salamis to whom he attempted to preach the gospel, and his tomb and monastery are of great religious significance to the Greek Orthodox Church and now houses a museum of icons which depict the events which led to the establishment of the independent Church of Cyprus.
Royal Tombs:
These incredible structures built during the seventh and eight centuries B.C. can be found a short distance outside Gazimagusa and are the burial grounds of the ancient Kings of Cyprus. The tombs generally show influences of Assyrian and Agyptian cultures. Some of them, however, were opened and reused in Roman times.
Salamis Ruins:
According to Greek mythology, the city of Salamis was founded by Teucer on his return from Trojan wars, but it is perhaps more likely that the city was established early in the eleventh century B.C. after the abandonment of the nearby city of Alasia. Salamis is said to have been a highly developed, urban centre blending the cultures of the Orient and the Phoenicias while having its own distinctively Cypriot character. By the eighth century B.C. Salamis was Cyprus leading city in terms of culture, wealth and size. During Roman times a number of severe earthquakes destroyed much of the city and repeated Arab raids during the seventh century A.D. resulted in its abandonment.
Sinan Pasha Mosque(The Church of Saints Peer and Paul):
This church is said to have been built during Gazimagusa's heyday from the profits of a single business venture by the merchant Simone Nostrano. Due to its conversion into a mosque by the Ottomans it remains in very good condition and today houses the city library.
St. Andrew's Monastery:
The monastery is dedicated to St. Andrew, the protector of travellers who, it is told, landed covered fresh water with healing properties. The site has become a popular place for pilgrimages.
Othello Tower:
This structure was built by the Lusignans for defense of the city and is said to be the setting for Shakespeare's Othello.
Palazzo de Provveditorre:
Orginally the palace of the Lusignan kings of Cyprus, the building later became the residence of the Venetian military commander.