The Venetian Walls

Nicosia was fortified with these 12m high walls circling the city for a distance of 5km

Nicosia was once a fully walled city, 5 km of fortified walls that rose to a height of 12 metres. A moat made with stone slabs thirty metres in width was also made and this helped withstand any attack from cannon fire. Although the walls were originally built by the Franks, the Venetians updated the walls as they needed to be stronger and smaller so that the Venetian army could control the entire area better. The new weapons that were coming into use made the strengthening of the entire structure essential. This was during a period when Cyprus exported large quantities of wheat, barley, sugar and cotton as well as wine and precious cargoes of olive oil.

The women of Cyprus were experts in the art of weaving and lace making and all these would have been exported along with salt from the Larnaca salt lake. The new fortification was designed by Italian military engineers and altogether there were 11 bastions constructed and fortified gates. Each gate had been given a name, so today we have Famagusta, Paphos, and Kyrenia gates; also the Venetian families who financed these works were given pride as above each gate their names were inscribed. Sadly, the Venetians did not have time to complete the task as the Turkish army attacked in 1570 lead to the city conquest.

Visitors can still take time to admire this quite impressive feat of engineering and walk around each of the gates and admire the creation work of these impressive massive walls.

Historical Landmarks