Defensive Venetian Walls surround the old city of Nicosia. Cyprus became part of the Republic of Venice in 1489 but it wasn’t until 1567 that the Venetians decided to fortify the city, so the medieval fortifications were demolished to make way for the new walls as were many houses, palaces and churches in order to use for building material and to have a clearer field of vision of the enemy.
Circular in shape, the walls contain eleven heart shaped bastions which were named after eleven families of the Italian aristocracy of the town who donated funds towards the construction of the walls.
The Pedieos River was also diverted outside the city to protect from floods and to fill the moat encircling the fortification walls. Hence the Moat of Nicosia where flat bottom barges used to bring in timber from Famagusta town and silk, spices and other exotic goods from the Orient.
Walking around Nicosia within the Walls nowadays, one can see abandoned homes of old with layer upon layer of history or the ancient doorway of a past forgotten, or a piece of history embedded on the wall of a church. It is a city with many tales to tell.