Nicosia, Nicosia, CY
Nicosia Venetian Walls | Map

The Old City Walls date from the Venetian occupation in the 16th century, and thus they are also called Venetian Walls and are located in the capital city of Cyprus, Nicosia. The Walls have a circumference of approximately 3 miles (5km) and are interspersed by eleven heart-shaped bastions. The Walls have three gates, one in the north, one in the south and one in the east. The Famagusta gate is one of three that has been restored and utilized for lectures, performances and conferences-it also serve as the Nicosia Municipal Cultural Center. The gate also has a passage that directs tourists to the moat.

Military engineer Julio Sovargnano designed the wall, which was constructed between 1567 and 1570, during the time when the Venetians anticipated a Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The new walls designed by Sovargnano were created to replace the old Lusignan walls in order to defend Nicosia during 1567 before the Ottomans conquest Cyprus. Besides Famagusta Gate, or else called Porta Guiliana, there are two more called Porta Del Proveditore, or The Kyrenia Gate, that is located in the North, and Porta Domenica, or else The Paphos Gate, which is located in the West.

To construct the walls, the Venetians destroyed everything in the three-mile circumference of the city from monasteries to houses, churches and palaces, so that they can use their stone to build the walls. Ottomans, however, won against Venetians and thus the walls remained unfinished. Although the Venetian estimated the walls to survive a two-year siege, the walls lasted less than fifty days of the attack.

The Old City Walls or else Venetian Walls, have a rich history behind them, so if as a tourist you are also looking to educated yourself in the history of the island and what it has been through, then you should consider making a stop at the Venetian Walls.