Like all of Cyprus, the capital city of Nicosia is rich in history; but Nicosia is unique in the fact that it is Europe’s last divided city. Whilst East and West Berlin was once again reunited with the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, Nicosia has remained split.
Nicosia has been the capital of Cyprus since the 10th century AD and it is such a diverse city. It has a certain charm that you simply cannot find anywhere else in the world. Around every corner it’s as if you’ve been thrust into another world. From the ancient and quaint old town, to ultra-modern buildings befitting any European capital city, delightful coffee houses and boutique shops to derelict buildings left untended since the war in 1974. Nicosia is a city you could easily love, despite its peculiarities.
A city of two halves
Part of the strangeness of this city is of course due to the division. When Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974, around 38% of the island came under Turkish occupation. Hundreds of thousands of Cypriots suddenly found themselves homeless, becoming refugees in their own country.
Where the Greek Cypriot zone ends and the Turkish Cypriot area begins, happens to be right in the middle of the city of Nicosia, dividing the city into the Greek South and the Turkish North. To begin with, a physical wall was built to clearly delineate the two sectors, but in 2008, by mutual agreement, parts of the wall were removed to allow movement between the two areas, however, the division between the zones is still very clear. It is though, easy to pass from one zone to the other, and many tourists do take the opportunity to cross the border and experience both sides of Nicosia.
Today Nicosia is a fascinating place to visit
These days, Nicosia has everything to offer that you’d expect from a modern city. Many big Cyprus corporations house their headquarters in the city so you’ll see some stunning ultra-modern buildings, state of the art malls and great restaurants. When these modern structures sit side by side with beautiful ancient architecture and the city walls, it truly is an eclectic mix that’s incredibly photogenic and a truly intriguing and compelling place to spend your time.
A thriving business environment
The business world is flourishing in Nicosia, as more companies become established in this blooming city. If you’d like to learn more about Cyprus, and living and working on the island, then do contact us for more information and our invaluable advice. It could be the first step on an amazing journey.