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famagusta

Famagusta in Northern Cyprus is a fascinating medieval walled city with oodles of charm and there is are lots to explore. When you enter the city you can’t miss the historic walled city of Famagusta with its mposing towers that encircle the old city and protect the harbour.

The Lusignan kings of Cyprus first built walls around Famagusta, then the Venetians improved them, possibly with the help of Leonardo da Vinci! These massive walls are eight metres thick and fifteen metres wide, with bastions and towers guarding very corner. The Turkish invaders who came in 1571 besieged the city and pounded it with cannon balls; you can still see these missiles littered around the old city amongst the ruins of churches damaged in the siege. The Turks found it tricky to breach the walls, defended by a large wide moat that you can actually drive along today.

The hungry and disease-ridden Venetians eventually surrendered, by waving a flag from the Ravelin, or White Tower, one of two entrances to Famagusta. The Ravelin houses the Akkule ören Yeri attraction, and kids will love the maze of corridors and guard rooms that twist and turn throughout the building. Look up, and you can see the smoke holes, where the bitter smoke from the mighty cannons escaped.

The best way to explore the walled city of Famagusta is on foot. As you wander amongst the narrow streets of the old city, every turn reveals a magnificent building or ruined church that bears the scars of that historic siege. It’s also a great way to shop where the locals do, or that unusual gift or holiday souvenir. Suddenly you emerge into the sunlight of the main square, so stop and have a real Turkish coffee at a café and admire the impressive former St Nicholas Cathedral, now a mosque. Walk towards the sea, and you can climb Othello’s Tower, and view the sea from the top of Famagusta’s walls.

 

Places to visit in Famagusta

• Arsenal (Martinengo Bastion)

• Canbulat Tomb & Museum

• Cellarga Mass - Graves

• Enkomi (Alasia)

Famagusta City Walls

• Greek St. George Church

• Kertikli Bath

• Land Gate (Ravelin)

• Lala Mustafa Pasa Mosque

• Latin St. George Church

• Namik Kemal Dungeon

• Nestorian Church

• Nikokreon Monument

• Nitovikla Castle

• Othello Castle

• Panaya Kanakaria Church

• Royal Tombs

• Salamis

• Sea Gate

• Sinan Pasa Mosque
(St. Peter & St. Paul Church)

• St. Barnabas Monastery

• St. Barnabas Icon & Archaelogy
Museum

• St. Francis Church

• Twin Churches
(Templar & Hospitaller Churces)

• Venetian Palace

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