Famagusta/ Mağusa

the heart of tourism in North Cyprus

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FAMAGUSTA

Famagusta is a port city located in the east of the island with its population over 40,920(2011). Famagusta is the second largest city in North Cyprus after the capital Nicosia. The city was found in around 274BC but its popularity had grown after the earthquake in Salamis; people started to move to Famagusta, as a result, the population started to increase. Especially under the rule of Lusignans, the city had flourished, already by the 13th century, it became a centre of commerce. However, during Ottoman rule, the city lost its strength as Latin and greek merchants were banned from the city. Greek Cypriot moved to the area known as Vorosha, now also known as a Ghost city. Turks adapted the city that’s why you can find a touch of different architectural styles in the city.

The walled city is very popular as a tourist destination; it contains many unique buildings protected by the government. It is often a venue for annual festivals such as the International Famagusta Art and Culture Festival.

At the moment the city is developing in tourism, education and construction sectors. The port regained its importance in the TRNC and now serves as the main harbour for travel and commerce. The city is very popular among tourists for its beautiful beaches, history, luxury hotels and vivid nightlife.

What to visit

Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque

Lala Mustafa Paşa Mosque is formerly known as St Nicholas Cathedral, it was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman rule in Cyprus.

The building of the Cathedral was started in 1298 and, according to historical sources, took 100 years to complete. You can recognize the Gothic style of the architecture as it was built during the Lusignan Dynasty period, moreover, the cathedral has some resemblance with Reims Cathedral in France.


Now St Nicholas Cathedral operates as a mosque but is open to the public when there is no religious service.

The Othello Castle

The Othello Castle or also Othello’s Tower is located within the walled city of Famagusta. The castle was built in the 14th century by Lusignans, you can recognise the style, however, later modified by Venetians who took over the island. The castle’s initial purpose was to defend the port from the possible attacks and to serve as the main entrance to Famagusta. The castle was hard to storm because of the deep moats. Only in 2014 reconstruction of the castle took place and it became open for public visits, hence, don’t lose your opportunity to see the castle.

St. Francis' Church

The church was built in the first part of the 14th-century during Lusignan rule by the Franciscan order. It was a part of the Franciscan monastery. Henry II, King of Cyprus, contributed to the construction.

What to visit

Famagusta a colorful city of History

Salamis Ruins

By a legend, the founder of the city was a Teucer, son of King Telamon of Salamis after the Trojan war. The city was established approximately in the 11th century, it was occupied several times by Assyrians, Egyptians, Persian, Romans. But what demolished the city and brought it to pieces was a natural cause- earthquake. Even in this state, the city is very charming and mystical. It is divided into a few parts including Gymnasium, Amphitheatre, Baths, Aquadoog, storage. The amphitheatre is used now as a venue for musical performances, many international musicians have visited it. Additionally, some of the mosaics were preserved until our days as well as statues, however, lost their marble parts and colour. The excavation took place before the crisis of 1974 as the international embargo was imposed. Many of the findings are staying in the British Museum in London.

Lovely Kyrenia

Kyrenia is a love from the first sight now you know why many holiday makers and expats choose this city. Spectacular landscapes, comfortable infrastructure, close to shops, restaurants, bars, entertainment facilities and magnificent historical places. Moreover, Kyrenia also holds varied local and international festivals, theatre performances and even international musicians give concerts in Kyrenia, regularly in the month of June but also around the year.

St George of the Latins Church

There are no precise dates when the church was built, however, it was Lusignans rule, when even the walls of Famagusta had not been established yet. You can recognise the typical gothic style in the remains, the church was inspired by the French Church of St Chapelle.

St George of the greeks Church

The Church was built in 1300 beside the church of St Symeon. You can even enter St Symeon from St George. On the walls of the church, you will see the fragments of frescos. As you know Famagusta was a port city with ships coming and going, there was a belief among sailors that if they carve a ship on the walls of the church then nothing bad will happen to them in the sea. Even now the little carved ships are visible on the walls.

Surfing

Surfing Club in Famagusta, Gücver Water Sports Club’, there you can learn surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing and even swimming.

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