Nicosia Municipality - The Siege of Nicosia
The Siege of Nicosia

The Siege of Nicosia


July 22, 1570
On July 1, 1570, the Ottomans arrived on the island while on July 22, Piale Pasha and his army marched towards Nicosia.
 
“The enemy raised four earthen forts with which to protect themselves against the artillery of the city, and to annoy its defenders. One was on the hill of St. Marina, 270 paces from the Podocataro bastion; one at St. Giorgio di Magnana; one on the little hill called Margariti, and the other on the chain of hills of Mandia. But seeing that these forts were too far away to do anything but injure a few of the higher houses, they more wisely moved up to the ditches and trenches of the old city, and there by entrenchments got close to the bastions Podocataro, Costanza, Davila, and Tripoli – opposite to each of these they raised at once a royal fort, 80 paces from the ditches, and began to brisk and sustained bombardment.”
 
Sereno Bartolomeo, Commentari della guerra di Cipro, Montecassino, 1845, p.57-59.
 
September 9, 1570
“At dawn on Sunday, the 9th, they made a brisk attack on the bastions… The defenders, as they always did, met the charge with great bravery and repulsed the enemy before they could get over the parapet; with fierce slaughter on both sides…At last after a long struggle on the Podocataro bastion by some mishap many of the enemy got in, and captured the platform and the redoubt…. As soon as they heard noise and outcry … Colonel Palazzo and other gentlemen, ran to help of that bastion, but they were too late…Then followed the sad and terrible spectacle, the savage slaughter of the poor soldiers who had defended the city, and the nobles, who made a brave stand. …. There was confused fighting in every quarter of the city, and in the squares. There was no order, no one to take the lead, and the massacre lasted till the sixth hour. Those who defended themselves were killed; those who surrendered were made prisoners. At last Mustafa Pasha entered the city, and saw the frightful slaughter.
The piteous sack of the ill-fated city was over... Before leaving Mustafa installed in the fortress a garrison of 4,000 foot soldiers and 1,000 cavalry.”
 
Description provided by eye-witness to the events, Venetian Pietro Contarini, from the publication: Historia delle cose successe dal principio della guerra mossa da Selim Ottomano, Archivio Contarini, Venezia, 1572, p. 9-13.