Famagusta is located at the central eastern edge of Cyprus and is right on the border between the Turkish-speaking northern part and the Greek-speaking southern part of the island. The city's sad destiny derives from this location. In spite of the fact that it used to be one of the most popular holiday spots of Cyprus, in the mid-seventies, it became a ghost town overnight when the Turkish army invaded and the majority of the population fled the city. Located in the buffer zone and being controlled by the UN and the Turkish Armed Forces, not much has changed since that tragic date and much of the city remains deserted.
With the once glamorous hotels standing empty on the desolate beaches and the ghost town offering picture illustrations of what functions the empty buildings once had and what they used to look like, the tour through Famagusta is a truly emotional one, making you reflect on how human life is so fragile exposed to the constellation of higher powers.
Even though some of the city is slowly getting back on its feet and tourism is slowly regaining its strength, the most important sights all remind of what happened decades ago. The main square of the city boasts a beautiful, Medieval construction. However, what once was St. Nicholas Cathedral, an impressive, Gothic, Notre Dame-like building from the fourteenth century, is now known as Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque. With the Turkish invasion, not only was it turned into a mosque with an additional part built on its side, but also in accordance with the Muslim religion, all human images present in the cathedral in stone, fresco, or in stained glass windows were removed.
However, walking along the city walls and visiting The Royal Palace for a few hours, it is possible to forget about the irreparable loss done to the city and step back in time to feel what this vivid Mediterranean port city used to be like. A stay in a Famagusta hostel can be a great, affordable way to experience the sights and sounds of this area.
Hi, I'm JudyM,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Famagusta hostels. Welcome.