Districts of Cyprus - Famagusta
Famagusta is a city on the east coast of Cyprus.
The ruins of the ancient town of Salamis outside Famagusta Lala Mustafa Pasa
Mosque (St. Nicholas Cathedral)The town was known as Arsinoe (after Arsinoe of
Egypt) in antiquity, then Ammochostos (meaning "hidden in sand") which is how it
is today referred to in Greek. The same name developed into Famagusta,used in
Western European languages and the Turkish name of Magusa (Gazi is a Turkish
prefix meaning veteran or simply ghazi, given officially after 1974, compare to
Gaziantep.). It seems to have had its heyday in the 13th century when Christians
fleeing from Syria and Palestine settled there and developed it into a wealthy
city under the Frankish Lusignan dynasty, which ruled from 1192. It declined
after a riot in the 14th century and by 1489, when the Venetians took over, it
had seen better times. They redeveloped it, building a massive wall round the
old town, still mostly remaining.
The Martinengo bastion is an excellent example of expert fortification, as it
provides protection for the walls on either side of it: it reminded one tourist
(no expert!) of a similar protection to be seen far away in the walls of
Berwick-upon-Tweed, England. The Ottoman forces took over in 1571, converting
churches into mosques or using them for secular purposes. The Cathedral of St
Nicholas became the Lala Mustapha Pasa Mosque.