Nicosia during the Ottoman period

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After its siege by the Ottomans, the city was deserted. The foreign travellers who visited refer to its great walls that were ruined, its few inhabitants and the large but deserted houses.

The main Latin churches were converted into mosques. There were gardens with citrus and palm trees, and to enter the city one had to go through the three gates that opened at sunrise and closed at sunset.

Nicosia was the seat of the Pasha, the Greek Archbishop, the Dragoman and the Cadi. It was also a commercial centre, even though the majority of its Greek and Latin inhabitants had left it to reside in Larnaca or emigrate abroad.

Nicosia revived its old splendour around the mid-nineteenth century, when the administration of the island was generally more tolerant.