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Famagusta is a tourist city located in the eastern Cyprus. The city is rich in history and home of the ancient site of Salamis, traditional fishing village of Bogaz, Karpas Peninsula National Park, golden sands of beaches and culture and art festivals. Famagusta is the perfect villa holiday destination if you are looking a stress free relaxing holiday in Northern Cyprus.
Famagusta has a long history from when it was first settled in the 3rd century BC but it did not become significant until after the fall of Acre in 1291 in the Holy Land when the Christians were offered free passage to Cyprus. Many ended up in Famagusta and, with their wealth and expertise, the city grew in importance. All the religions of the near east came to build churches and merchants opened trading posts. It was all short lived when, in 1372, the Genoese invaded and captured Famagusta isolating it from the rest of Cyprus. The traders and nobility left to settle in Nicosia. The Venetians took over the half empty city in 1498 and promptly threw up heavy defensive walls and bastions which ring the town today. It was not enough to keep out the Turks who, in 1571, bombarded the town with hundreds and hundreds of cannon balls damaging virtually every building within. This is the town as we see it today with very little reconstruction and many buildings removed, especially churches, to reuse the stone.
Heading down Istiklal Avenue through the gauntlet of tourist shops leads towards the great bastion of the Land Gate. There is a small entry charge to explore this complex piece of military architecture.
Leaving the cathedral in the other direction leads to the Sea Gate of the famous lion statue. Steps in the wall here beg to be climbed for a great view over the city and harbour. Near here is Othello's tower also awaiting exploration for a small fee. Explore this historical city with a car hire in Famagusta, North Cyprus which is recommended as some attractions are located outside the city.