I am definitely loving the Cypriot doors, and balconies. Again most in Nicosia had the dates on, and all seemed to be from around the same era as in Larnaca, which I found very interesting.
I did find one dated to 1718, and part of the city walls with a gate, but all the others are a very similar style and from the early 1900s.
Being an amateur building historian I can only assume that they was a lot of building in all of Cyprus at this time, and that possibly a lot of older buildings were destroyed to make way for these ones.
Unlike other cities that I have visited there seems to be no specific medieval area, though the Venetian walls do date from the 1570s which is the later medieval period. I did see a medieval hall near the walls as well.
I can only assume that when the British occupied Cyprus from the 1870s there was a lot of building from that point, which may explain the lack of older buildings apart from things such as the forts and castles.
I visited three museums on my second trip. The first was the main Museum of Cyprus ,which had lots of pottery and statues. I am not normally that interested in the different types of ceramics, they just don’t get me as excited as textiles do. However, there was an amazing display that was all found together.
These 2000 figurines were found displayed like this in the sanctuary of Aiya Irini, and date from the 7th and 6th centuries BC. There are mainly soldiers, waggons and horses, and there are only two female figurines.
I love the face on the bigger bull at the front of this picture above, he looks as if he is smiling!
The other really interesting thing was this jewellery display, dating from the Byzantine period of the 6th century. As well as being beautifully detailed it was interesting to see how the designs have not really changed at all, even down to the way we fasten earrings all these centuries later.
My favourites were the winged creatures in the top left picture, they were so detailed at only about one inch tall.
The second place was, The Shacolas Tower , which has a panoramic view over the city and a small exhibition and video about the history of the city. It is well worth a visit as it so interesting to see some of the landmarks from above.
I spotted the church and archbishop’s palace that I had visited in this first photo.
The one below looks towards the occupied part of the city where you can see the towers of the Selimiye Camii mosque that was once a cathedral, at the back right of the photo in front of the mountains. It has been a mosque since the Ottomans came to the city in the late 1500s so is very much part of the very diverse history of this city.
The final museum was the Leventis Museum, which is housed in three restored buildings within the city centre. This was a great museum for giving you a timeline of all of the different cultures that have lived in Cyprus, showcasing Venetian glass, Ottoman jewellery, and having some excellent examples of textiles.
There was a whole display devoted to maps and books written by the many people that had travelled to Cyprus, often on their way to the Middle East. I love old maps and the history that they represent so colourfully.
There was a costume display, and also some excellent examples of Cypriot embroidery and lace.
I think the motifs on this beautiful piece below are pomegranates, which reminds me that I really must get started on my pomegranate goldwork that I have been promising to make for about 20 years!
The lace is described as crochet lace on the label, so I am not sure how some of it was made, although they do show bobbins as well. I think there may be a mix of techniques used.
The embroidery examples were very interesting as well, Cypriot embroidery takes many forms, there is heavy influence from the geometry of cross stitch, but also flower motifs.
This top piece seems to use gold thread as well, as far as I could see through the case.
The final section of the museum looked at the influence of the British occupation from the late 1870s. There were some of the magazines published at the time, and this very interesting book. I would love to have read this to see what the impression was of Cyprus at this time by the British public.
The cross over of fashions was also mentioned, contrasting the traditional dress of the Nicosian people, with that of the Victorians who came to live there.
As with the kimono exhibition we saw recently in New York, it was interesting to see pictures of how the dress became adopted by the Cypriot people. There are few differences between the garments really, in terms of style, but dress was very much linked to social status and religion, so at first there was little mixing of fashions.
I just had time for a short wander before getting the bus back, and found another church, not hard when Nicosia is full of them!
This one was particular interesting for a mosaic of Mary, (I assume), with a distaff spindle in her hand.
Images of Mary spinning are knitting are quite common and I found this interesting blog post with more information and additional pictures.
I will be travelling over the next few days and settling into my next accommodation, so I will return soon with more adventures. I am loving this nomadic lifestyle and really looking forward to the last couple of weeks in Cyprus. I will then be reunited with my beloved Katy Kangoo for further adventures in the UK.
Until I see you next have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.