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FAMAGUSTA

The Turkish name for Famagusta is Gazimagusa or Magusa and the town, located on the far East coast of Cyprus, has experienced extremes of fortune throughout its long and fascinating history. Today visitors to Famagusta’s old town will be struck by how ramshackle and ruined it appears and yet it was once the most lavish and rich city in the Eastern Mediterranean.

To understand the Famagusta of today it is important to look into its past...in the 3rd century BC the town was founded by the Egyptians and it was indeed a town of some significance. It wasn’t until around 1291 that the town became particularly prosperous...following an influx of Christian refugees from the Holy Land the town benefited from the demographic lift and grew to become the most wealthy and successful city in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Famagusta’s recent history is equally as turbulent. During the 1960s and 1970s the town was a booming tourist town; it was one of the most desirable destinations in Cyprus and in fact on the Mediterranean. Following the conflict in 1974 the town’s tourist industry was completely destroyed, the town’s beach that was the main draw for the crowds who visited the town was actually closed.

Thankfully today visitors are again making their way to this fascinating town to see the historical buildings, Venetian city walls, Othello’s Tower, ruined buildings, mosques and museums.