Nicosia - the Last Divided Capital City
Duration: 5 hours
Tour Code: lml-001
Nicosia has the distinction of being the last divided capital city in the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Dividing north and south is the Green Line which runs directly through the city. The northern side has been occupied by Turkey since July 1974, and the southern side by Greece. Nicosia is the largest town in Cyprus and has been its capital since the 11th Century AD. This remarkable city which is encircled by the old city walls, has managed to successfully blend its bustling modern day business and cultural centers with its historic heart, all the while retaining its charming character.
Your first stop will be at the Cathedral of St. John, built in 1662 by the Archbishop Nikiforos. Here you will be afforded the opportunity to view the 18th century frescoes that embellish the walls with colorful biblical scenes. Leaving the cathedral, you'll continue on to the Cyprus Archaeological Museum, where the most significant collection of Cypriot antiquities is housed. Treasures available for viewing here include artifacts dating from the Neolithic Age (7,000 BC), Mycenaean relics and early Byzantine. Also on display are ceramics, tomb monuments, bronze statues and coins that span 5,000 years of the island's history. Perhaps the most famous exhibit is the statue of Aphrodite from Soli - now the symbol of Cyprus.
At the conclusion of your museum visit, you will drive by the Green Line checkpoint at Ledra Street where you will view the Turkish side, which occupied half of Nicosia and the northern territory of Cyprus. The tour then proceeds through the impressive Venetian Walls into the old city via the Paphos Gate. Before returning to the ship, you will have free time in the restored 19th century neighborhood called Laiki Yitonia. The quaint, narrow pedestrian streets in this neighborhood are lined with traditional houses, craft shops, taverns and galleries, making for a delightful stroll or souvenir shopping.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 1/2 hours of walking plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during free time. It is not available to wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Comfortable, flat walking shoes, light clothing and a hat are recommended.