What to see in Famagusta Northern Cyprus with your rental car
Famagusta: Travel back in time in a car rental in Northern Cyprus
The ancient city of Farmagusta offers some of the best preserved and restored architecture from medieval times to be found in the entire eastern Mediterranean region. The city’s remarkable memories of ancient days are exciting and remind many travelers of some of the best-maintained medieval cities in the world. Although the early history of the city remains a mystery, many historians believe that the first settlements occurred here around the 3rd century BC. Later, during the time of the Crusades, the city became a major trading market located along the popular trade routes through the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Car hire in Northern Cyprus – Things to see in Famagusta
Like the walled city of Carcassonne, France, the ancient city of Farmagusta remains surrounded by the defensive walls that were originally built in the 12th century by the Lusignan family from western France. Later, while the city was under the control of the Venetian forces, the walls were improved and strengthened. These walls are huge, averaging 60 feet high and 30 feet thick or 18 meters high and 9 meters thick. A particularly interesting section of the wall is the original 15th-century iron-covered city entrance gate, Porta del Mare or Sea Gate, which still maintains its original appearance. Venetian control and improvements to the city are evidenced by the statue of the winged lion of Venice that can be seen at the Porta del Mare, as well as other prominent places in the old town. The largest medieval building in the city is the impressive Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque building dating back to the 14th century. This building was the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas until the Ottomans conquered the island in the 16th century and turned the cathedral into a mosque. Many visitors have noted that the style of the building is reminiscent of the great medieval cathedrals of France. This is not an unexpected comparison as French families ruled the island of Cyprus from the 12th to the 15th century and it was here in the cathedral that various members of the French family were crowned Kings of Cyprus. This French influence is also evident in the large rose window above the main entrance doors of the building.
Today, located just south of the Old Town, the Forbidden City of Varosha can only be seen through the chain link fence that surrounds it. Before the invasion of Cyprus by Turkish forces in 1974, this trendy Varosha neighborhood in Farmagusta was Cyprus’ number one tourist area. Many high-rise hotels were built here to accommodate the large number of international travelers who visited the city in the early 1970s. But when the Turkish army took control of the city in 1974, they fenced off the area and no one was admitted. . Even today, only members of the Turkish army and United Nations personnel are allowed to enter the abandoned city. After 34 years of neglect, the once modern buildings are now crumbling and many shops and restaurants appear to have been abandoned, with tables still set for diners and clothes still on the shelves.
Car hire in Northern Cyprus – Things to see near Famagusta
One of the advantages of having a rental car in Northern Cyprus is that it allows you to visit more remote places that are close to bigger cities like Farmagusta. For example, the excavated ruins of ancient Salamis lie just offshore and include a 20,000-seat Greek theater as well as many Roman structures and classical monuments. Another notable site in Salamis is the 4th century Kampanopetra Basilica, located in a spot near the port and overlooking the sea. The elaborate pattern of the basilica’s floor, consisting of 2,400 individual diamond-shaped stones, is exquisite. This important city of ancient Cyprus may have originally been settled by Greek settlers after the end of the Trojan War. Later, she was visited by Saint Paul on his first missionary journey.
With your rental car in Northern Cyprus, you can also visit the nearby ruins of Engomi, a powerful city that existed during the Bronze Age around 2000 BC. C. Treasures that have been recovered from the tombs found here include gold and ivory, as well as glass vases. and rare pottery. The Engomi settlement is believed to have been abandoned around 1000 BC. C. when an earthquake destroyed many of the buildings and the residents moved to the nearby town of Salamis. Whether it’s walking around the town of Farmagusta on foot or driving around in your rental car in North Cyprus, time spent in this fascinating city of ancient Cyprus can be the highlight of your trip to North Cyprus. .