Visit the open-air museum...

Excursion to the history

Famagusta has a 4,000 years history. In the outskirts of Famagusta the first settlement Enkomi surrounded by a fortress appeared in 2000 BC. During the excavations, clay tablets with texts in the Kipro-Crit language, ingots of copper were found. It is known that the settlement of Enkomi was an important center of trade in copper. In 1100 BC the inhabitants of Enkomi moved to the city of Salamis.

The ancient city of Salamis

The city of Salamis was founded in the 11th century BC. The peoples who came from Anatolia (today Turkey) and the Achaeans - the ancient Greek tribes. According to other sources, the founder of the city was the hero of the Trojan War, the son of the king of the island Salamis Telamona - Tevkr.

The city-state experienced the stages of the rule of the Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Alexander the Great Empire, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire.

The city has preserved a gymnasium building, a bath complex, a theater, a Roman villa, a reservoir, mosaics, frescoes, statues, an antique toilet.

The most magnificent structure certainly is a theater for 15 thousand people. In Salamis, the Apostle Barnabas was born (the Council of 70 Apostles), mentioned in the New Testament, which, together with the apostle Paul in AD 45, preached Christianity in Cyprus.

The city was destroyed in the 7th century as a result of the Arab-Byzantine wars, after which people overcame the present Famagusta.

Famagusta is the address where many civilizations intersect...

Famagusta was built on the site of a fishing village, known as Arsinoe. It was founded in 285 BC by king of Egypt Ptolemy I. in the 7th century AD. As a result of the Arab-Byzantine wars from the ruined city of Salamis, the population moved to Arsinoe, gave it a new name Amohostos, translated from the Greek as buried in the sands.

The prosperity of Famagusta, as a city of fortress and port of the first rank, falls on 1291, the period of the reign of the Louisian dynasty in Cyprus (1192 - 1489). After the loss of possessions in Akka and the transfer of the last possessions of the Crusaders in Syria and Palestine to Muslims, the surviving Christians settled in large numbers in Cyprus, mainly in Famagusta. Among them were noblemen, traders, knights and Catholic clergy. With the influx of refugees, a period of rapid flourishing of the city began as a center of trade with the East and a new stronghold of the Crusaders.

In 1300, on the orders of King Henry 11, defensive walls were built, St. Nicholas' Cathedral, dozens of churches and monasteries were built. Many traders came to Famagusta from different countries among them were Syrians, Armenians, Italians, Greeks. All of them received huge profits. The architectural constructions of religious nature built by them now form the landscape of Famagusta.

Venetian walls, Bastion Ravelin

They round out the old town and are an excellent example of military architecture of the 15-16 centuries. Include the preserved medieval walls and towers, bastions, moat around the walls. The Ravelin Bastion is a land gate, one of the two original entrances to the city surrounded by walls. The second gate is called sea and provides access from the sea.

Church of St. Peter and Paul (Sinan Pasha Mosque)

The church was built around 1360, one of the largest and well-preserved Famagusta churches, made in the regional Gothic style. The church is adorned with stunning stone carvings. It was the second after the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, the church was converted into a mosque in 1572, and the new name of the mosque is the mosque of Sinan Pasha.

The Venetian Palace

Initially, the palace belonged to the Louisian dynasty, and then from 1489 became the official residence of the acting Venetian governor. From the original palace to the present day the eastern facade and the western walls of the palace have been preserved. In the courtyard of the palace you can see a collection of cannonballs.

Franciscan monastery

The ruins of the Franciscan church, the monastery - one of the oldest Catholic Church buildings of the city, date back to the end of the 13th century.

The Franciscans were one of the oldest and most significant Catholic Order of Cyprus.

St. Nicholas Cathedral

The former Catholic Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Famagusta is considered one of the most majestic and beautiful, preserved in the Middle East. It was here during the period 1291-1373 that members of the Louisiana dynasty were crowned as rulers of Jerusalem. It was here in 1489 that the last Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, peacefully renounced the throne, yielding to the power of the Venetian Republic.

The cathedral was built in the 14th century, next to the cathedral is Sikomor ( in latin Fícus sycómorus) - it is believed that the tree was planted simultaneously with the beginning of construction in the 14th century.

In 1571, after the capture of Famagusta by the Ottoman Empire, the cathedral was turned into a mosque.

Today is - the current mosque, named in honor of Lala Mustafa Pasha, the Ottoman military and statesman directed the land forces during the capture of Cyprus.

Twin Church

It is believed that the twin churches are built uncharacteristically close to each other. They belong to two religious and military orders: the Templars and hospital admirers.

Church of St. George the Victorious

The once splendid church was built in 1360. A rare example of an Orthodox church built in the Cypriot style. The church was the functioning Orthodox Church of the city.

Othello Tower

The tower occupies an advantageous strategic position overlooking the harbor. It was built during the reign of the Louisiana dynasty in the 13th century, later the Venetians expanded and strengthened it. During the British rule in Cyprus, the tower was named Othello Tower, in honor of the hero of the play of Shakespeare, a Venetian commander who lived in Cyprus in the 16th century, who served as the prototype of Othello.

The Sea Gate

The sea gate is one of the two original entrances to the city enclosed by the fortress walls. The gates were modernized in the 16th century. Modern gates made of wood and chipped with iron belong to the Ottoman period, but the heavy iron grilles that used to fall and rise on the chains refer to the Venetian period.


Archaeological museum and museum of icons, the monastery and tomb of the Apostle Barnabas.

The monastery of the apostle Barnabas is an inactive monastery founded in the V century.

The monastery is built on the burial site of the Apostle Barnabas. According to tradition, the monastery was founded in the 5th century by the Archbishop Anfemius of Cyprus with the financial support of the Byzantine emperor Flavius Zeno. According to legend, the archbishop Anfemius was three times in a dream Apostle Barnabas, indicating the place of his burial. There the priest also found a chest with the holy relics of Barnabas and a copy of the Gospel of Matthew. With these relics, he went to Constantinople, where he received recognition and support from the Byzantine emperor.

The apostle Barnabas is the founder of the Cyprian Orthodox Church, an apostle of 70. Originally from Cyprus, he preached Christianity in Cyprus in the 50-60s AD. In the people this place is called a place of health.

One of the most important Orthodox places in Cyprus.

The museum contains icons and artifacts found during archaeological excavations.


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