Nicosia is the capital and largest city on the island as well as the main Business Centre. Nicosia remains the last divided capital city in the world, while half of its district in the Turkish Republic of Norther Cyprus and has done so since the Turkish invasion in 1974. The city was ranked in 2012 as the 5th richest city in the world in relative purchasing power. Ledra Street is in the middle of the walled city. The street has historically been the busiest shopping street of the capital and adjacent streets lead to the most lively part of the old city with narrow streets, boutiques, bars and art-cafés. The street today is a historic monument on its own. It is about 1 km (0.6 mi) long and connects the south and north parts of the old city. The walls surrounding the old city have three gates. In The Kyrenia Gate which was responsible to the transport to the north, and especially Kyrenia, the Famagusta Gate which was responsible for the transport from Famagusta, Larnaca and Limassol and Karpasia, and the Paphos Gate for transport to the west and especially Paphos. All three gates are well-preserved.
Nicosia, the island’s capital for more than 1000 years, emerges from the mountains of Kyrenia and spreads across the plains of Mesaoria.
It is the largest city of Cyprus counting around 325.000 inhabitants. In recent years and especially before the catholic economic downturn, the construction industry recorded rapid evolution and developed projects of vital importance with Eleftheria’s Square regeneration being the most impressive.
Moreover, Nicosia established itself as the financial capital and the major international trading center of the island. A tour within the capital should certainly include a visit to its museums. It is widely known that the largest and richest collection of worldwide antiquities on the island is kept in the Archaeological Museum in Nicosia. The Venetian walls with the three gates surrounding the old city and closing outside the modern Nicosia, are undoubtedly a special landmark within the capital.