Famagusta — Varosha — Salamis — Apostle Barnabas Monastery
Join us on an unforgettable journey to Famagusta, a sand sunken city. Famagusta is widely acclaimed as the jewel of the Eastern Mediterranean and its major port. The town was founded on the site of Arsinoe, an ancient settlement dating back to the 3rd century B.C. In Greek the town is called Ammochostos or “built on sand”.
Marvel at the grandeur of the majestic fortification walls of Famagusta, visit Castello Castle with its Othello Tower making part of the citadel and find out an intrinsic story underlying Shakespeare’s tragedy about Othello and Desdemona. Walking the narrow streets of the Old Town you will get a close look at many ancient historical monuments. Majestic St. Nicholas Cathedral inspired by Notre Dame de Paris makes the central architectural landmark of the Old Town. Following the Ottoman capture of the island the Cathedral was turned into Lala Mustafa-Pasha Mosque. Observing Islamic rules and customs you may enter the mosque and marvel at its internal décor.
While in Famagusta do not miss your chance to see the infamous ghost city of Varosha abandoned and sealed off after the tragic events of 1974. Following UN Resolution, only its original residents or their descendants can inhabit this area. With the conflict remaining unresolved, once thriving and booming resort remains deserted and uninhabited.
Leaving Famagusta behind we continue to the ancient city of Salamis. According to tradition, the founder of Salamis was Teucer mentioned by Homer in his Iliad. In ancient times Salamis was the largest city in Cyprus.
Our final call is at Apostle Barnabas Monastery and the burial place of the saint. Born in Cyprus, Saint Barnabas was one of the closest and most devoted disciples of Jesus and is widely believed to be the founder of the Cyprus Autocephalous Church.
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