Capital of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus (de facto)

Nicosia, also known as Lefkosia (Greek: Λευκωσία; Turkish: Lefkoşa) is the capital city and largest city of the island country of Cyprus. Nicosia 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).

Skyline in Cyprus
Skyline in Cyprus
Flag of Nicosia Lefkoşa Lefkosia
Location of Nicosia in Cyprus
Location of Nicosia in Cyprus
Coordinates: 35°10′N 32°21′E / 35.167°N 32.350°E / 35.167; 32.350
DistrictNicosia District
City-state7th century BC
Capital10th century
 • MayorEleni Mavrou
 • Total270,000 (area under cypriot government (Greek))
85,000 (Occupied (Turkish))
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)



Nicosia is the only divided capital city in the world. It has a northern (Turkish) section and a southern (Cypriot) section. These sections are divided by the "Green Line". It is a demilitarized zone created by the United Nations. Nicosia (southern part) is the capital of the Republic of Cyprus while northern part is capital of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), a de facto state only recognized by Turkey.

Nicosia has a total population of 310,355.[1]



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 has a hot semi-arid climate (BSh in the Köppen climate classification).

The highest temperature ever recorded in Nicosia was 46.2 °C (115.2 °F) on 4 September 2020.



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.

Many disasters happened in the city during the 19th century. Cholera hit the city in 1835. Fire destroyed large parts of Nicosia in 1857.

The British Empire took control of the island in 1878. Nicosia was the capital of the new British colony.

In early 1974, a coup d'état instigated by the Greek junta overthrew the legal government and took control. Shortly afterwards Turkey invaded the island occupying a large part, with excuse that Turkish Cypriot people's safety was threatened. Because of this, Cyprus and the city of Nicosia are divided since. Cyprus with its legal government is part of the European Union. The northern area, controlled by Turkish Cypriots, exists as a unilaterally proclaimed "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" recognized only by Turkey.






  1. "Türkiye". Archived from the original on 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2007-06-22.

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