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|City-state||7th century BC|
|• Mayor||Eleni Mavrou|
270,000 (Southern (Greek))|
85,000 (Nortern (Turkish))
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
Nicosia, also known as Lefkosia (Greek: Λευκωσία Turkish: Lefkoşa) is the capital city of the island country of Cyprus. It is also the largest city of that country. Niscosia is on the Pedieos (Kanlidere) river in the centre of the island. The city is the seat of government as well as the main business centre for Cyprus. Nicosia is capital of the administrative district (Nicosia District).
Nicosia is the only divided capital city in the world. It has a northern (Turkish) section and a southern (Greek) section. These sections are divided by the "Green Line". It is a demilitarized zone created by the United Nations. Unlike Cold War East and West Berlin, the terms "North Nicosia" and "South Nicosia" are not commonly used. The northern half of Nicosia is the capital of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Nicosia has a total population of 310,355.
Nicosia has many shops, restaurants and entertainment. The city is a trade center. It manufactures textiles, leather, pottery, plastic, and other items. Copper mines are nearby. The University of Cyprus (UCY) is in Nicosia.
Nicosia was a city-state known as Ledra or Ledrae in ancient times. The king of Ledra was Onasagoras in 672 BC. The city was rebuilt by Lefkos, son of Ptolemy I around 300 BC. Ledra in Hellenic and Roman times was a small, unimportant town, also known as Lefkothea. It got its first Christian bishop, Trifillios, in 348.
The city became the island's capital around the 10th century. It had grown in importance because of threats to the coastal cities Paphos and Salamis. These threats made many people leave the coast of the island and move to Lefkosia in the center of the island.
The city became a Venetian possession in 1489. It was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1571. During this time, the city grew culturally. In the 15th and 16th centuries, many palaces, churches and monasteries were built. About 20,000 people living in the city died because of the Ottoman attack of 1570.
In early 1974, military forces supported by the Greek government took control of Cyprus. Because of this, Turkey sent forces to the island to also try and take control of it. The Turkish forces caused the Greek supported government to end but the Turks refused to leave the country. The believed that if they left, the Turkish people living in Cyprus would be in . The Turkish forces moved to the northern part of Cyprus and stayed there. Because of this, Cyprus and the city of Nicosia were divided in half. The northern area is contolled by Turkish Cypriots (people from Cyprus) as a part of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The southern part is controlled by Greek Cypriots.
Only the country of Turkey says that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is an actual country.
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- Cyprus Government Website - Towns and Population
- Nicosia Municipality Web Site -History
- Cyprus Island - Nicosia
- European Capitals - Nicosia movie about Nicosia
- Videos: Culture of Nicosia
- Website for Municipality of Nicosia
- Nicosia in Dark and White: a photo exhibition