Famagusta

Famagusta city is very famous for a number of reasons : there is the beautiful old city, as well as many churches and monasteries, and the 'ghost town' of Marash.

The top three places to visit in Famagusta are:

Salamis Ancient City

Salamis ancient city is located 8km outside of Famagusta. It was built by the Truzer in the late 11th century BC, and is believed to be the biggest kingdom in Cyprus during his time. Currently, only 30% of the city has been discovered, whilst 20% is under the sea in the old port area, and the rest is still awaiting excavation. Whist in Salamis, you can visit the theatre which is reported to have been able to seat 15,000. However, due to damage over time, the capacity is now only 5,500. The floor of the gymnasium where the gladiators and athletes used to do their training is covered with mosaics. You can also see the original hot and cold bath, the latrines, fish market, as well as many marble status and mosaic columns.

St. Barnabas Monastery

St. Barnabas monastery is located 8km from the city center. St Barnabas was born in Salamis ancient city, but later moved to Jerusalem to further his education. It was here that he met St Paul, and converted to Christianity. He came to Pathos in 45 AD with St Paul and St Mark to meet with the Emperor, and later became the first Christian ruler of a country. However, the Jewish population were unhappy and, after calling him to a meeting in Salamis to explain his beliefs, they killed him. His followers buried him under a Carob tree with a bible. 432 years later, his body was discovered by a Priest and his staff, who took it to the Emperor Zeno in Istanbul, earning them the freedom of the church. When they returned to Cyprus, they built a small church, which was dedicated to St Barnabas. This is now used as a museum.

St. Nicholas Cathedral

St Nicholas Cathedral, a beautiful example of Gothic architecture, is located in the middle of the old city of Famagusta. It was built in the 12th century by the French, and was where the crown ceremonies used to take place to make them king of Jerusalem as well as Cyprus. When the Ottomans arrived in Cyrpus in the late 16th century, they converted cathedrals into mosques : St Nicholas Cathedral is still used as a mosque today.


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