Nicosia

The story of a shared and contested city

Historical overview of the city of Nicosia

Did you know that the people of Nicosia called Ledra Street, Makridromos for decades, or that Eleftherias Square was called Metaxas Square until the mid-1970s? Did you know the fact that until the early twentieth century one side of Hermes Street, one of the main commercial roads of the city was a dry river bed full of garbage and mosquitos? Or that even after the first division of the city in the late 1950s people in Hermes Street still traded over the barbed wire as they did for decades before?

‘Nicosia: The story of a shared and contested city’ is a public history project, implemented by the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR), aiming to provide the public and researchers with a historical overview of the city of Nicosia from 1878 to 1974. The project comprises seven interactive maps. The research team also made use of the Cypriot press to enrich the information regarding political, cultural and social events around the city.

The project is focused on raising awareness of the multicultural aspects of the city and the long co-existence of various communities within it (the Armenian, the Latin, the Maronite) apart from the Greek and Turkish Cypriot ones. Another aim was to provide information on issues regarding gender, the role of women in Cypriot society, and homosexuality. Focusing on the various communities’ cultural production, as expressed mainly through the theatre, but also through everyday places such as coffeehouses. A number of sources, monographs, collective volumes, and articles, both academic and journalistic. They added that audiovisual material was also helpful to support the texts. This data comes from a variety of archives and institutions in Cyprus, such as the Prometheus Research Institute and PEO (Pancyprian Workers’ Organization) archives.

Check their website to keep update!

Involved city makers
Christos Mais
Research Associate at AHDR
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