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Nicosia Old Walled City Downtown Initiative

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VISION

“For Nicosia Old Walled City to become a sustainable touristic shopping area branded through its unique historical and cultural heritage and a vibrant focal point frequented by both locals and foreign tourists”

 MISSION

Providing assistance on a particular set of marketing programs and services which encourages involvement and ownership, ensures economic vitality and promotes downtown assets.

 

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

1.     BRANDING

To develop a strong brand reflecting the region’s unique historical and cultural heritage, that will represent business owners of the region in order to support the marketing of Nicosia Downtown.

2.     DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT

To design and conduct training programs and provision of process consultancy according to the needs of the businesses in the Downtown area. 

3.     DEVELOPMENT OF NEW PRODUCTS

To develop or redesign traditional and niche local products especially through revision of packaging techniques to target the touristic market demands.

To support the presentation of souvenirs and memorabilia that will come out as a result of branding studies.

4.   EVENTS

Conducting a variety of events, targeting both locals and foreign tourists in order to improve the foot traffic, time spent and sales in the region.

Working Group

The Nicosia Downtown Initiative Working Group consists of the following stakeholders:

  • SME Development Centre (KOBIGEM)
  • Tourism Planning Office
  • Tourism Marketing Office
  • Nicosia Turkish Municipality
  • Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce
  • Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry
  • Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Shopkeepers and Artisans
  • Cyprus Turkish Tourism Agents Association
  • Cyprus Turkish Tourist Guides Association
  • Businesswomen Association
  • Nicosia Downtown Development Association

 

 

The SECOND Project is funded by the European Union and implemented by DIADIKASIA Business Consultants S.A. Consortium.

 www.secondproject.eu 

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History

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THE HISTORY OF LEFKOŞA (NICOSIA)

Ledra was established in about 1050 BC, as an ancient kingdom, located in the centre of Cyprus. Today, it is now known as Nicosia (Turkish: Lefkoşa, Greek: Λευκωσία) and is the island’s capital.

The city was established on the side of the 'Kanlidere' River then known as Pedios Creek. Historically the city's names have included ‘Lefkotheon’ named by Levkos, the son of the Egyptian Ptolemaic King Soter I in the early years of the 3rd century BC.

Nicosia has been the capital city of Cyprus from the time of the Arab raids of the 7th and 8th centuries AD when coastal populations moved inland.  Over the centuries, it has had many rulers including the Ptolemies, the Romans, The Byzantines, the Franks [Lusignans], the Venetians, the Ottomans, the British and finally the Cypriots.

In 1192 AD, the former king of Jerusalem - Guy de Lusignan arrived in Cyprus. He chose to live in Nicosia, and from this point on, the capital city went through its brightest period. Most of the surviving historic buildings were established in the Lusignan period, with the buildings from the Venetian period having been destroyed and their stones used in the construction of the Old City walls still standing today.

After the Ottomans conquered the island in 1571, they used the buildings that remained from the Venetian period and changed their usage, and also built new authentic structures. Nicosia has become a historic city connecting the past to the present with its buildings constructed in different periods, ranging from the ancient times to up to our day. Nicosia is a major tourist attraction due to its rich history, unique architecture, and ability for tourists to visit between both north and south Nicosia by foot or car since the division in 1974. 

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Tradition & Culture

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TRADITION & CULTURE

Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee was first introduced in Cyprus by families emigrating from different parts of Anatolia during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Ever since, Turkish coffee became an integral part of Cypriot culture; on a daily basis, people meticulously go through the ritual of preparing Turkish coffee at home. In the past, the process of making coffee at home was initially an arduous process: it consisted of roasting green coffee beans in pans, grinding the roasted beans with hand mills and cooking the ground coffee on burning coal. All of this was just to enjoy a small cup of this divine beverage.

Serving Guests

Serving the guests candied fruits, sherbets and coffee is a traditional display of hospitality. In the past, the social status and age of a guest would determine the importance of the guest. The serving would usually begin with a local beverage perhaps a Turkish coffee, lemonade or rose sherbet and continue with fruit madjun (candied fruit). Walnut madjun would be the most important dessert to be served as it is the most costly and laboursome in making. Other common fruit madjuns are made from bitter orange, bergamot orange, grapes, water melon, squash, figs, etc.

The fruit madjuns are still widely served to guests as a part of the Turkish Cypriot tradition. The madjuns are served separately in their special plates with a madjun fork and a glass of water. The guest can dip the fruit in the water if they wish to wash down the excess syrup from the fruit. 

 

*Basket photos from www.hasder.org

Basket Weaving & Wickerwork

Basket weaving and wickerwork play an important role in reflecting Cypriot tradition and even today, centuries after the tradition began, baskets continue to bring traditional colour and practicality into the homes of Cypriots.

Up to present times,  baskets were widely used to carry various agricultural produce including olives, carobs, almonds, grapes, etc.  The size, shape and design of the baskets were determined by the functionality. One can still see baskets being used widely especially in villages. Today, baskets and wickerwork are are seen  as an important reflection of tradition thus making the smaller sized samples a perfect souvenir reflecting Cyprus. 

 

*Lefkara Lace photos from Lefkara Lace Cyprus Handicrafts

Lefkara Lace 

A traditional Cyprus embroidery, Lefkara Lace is a kind of needlework embroidered on Irish linen with cotton thread. Dark greenish-brown and white are the two main colours that are used for embroidering the patterns on ecru coloured linen. Although the patterns are geometrical designs repeating themselves, they each have a different name. Despite of the fact that many patterns and embroidery techniques have disappeared over the years, today, there are only eight to ten patterns that are being produced and passed on from generation to generation. 

Lefkara Lace derived it name from Lefkara village, where it is said to have been embroidered first. It is a small, barren village on the outskirts of Trodos Mountains where the Venetians used to visit as a holiday venue. Adapting the embroidery techniques of Venetian Lace, embroidered by the Venetian ladies, into their own embroidery known as ‘white embroidery’, the local women created the lace work known as Lefkara Lace today. Although fifty years ago the linen and the thread were also being produced on the island, today ‘Irish Linen’ and French thread is mostly used. 

The oldest story told about Lefkara Lace dates back to the Venetian (Renaissance) period telling us the origins of our widely known authentic lace work. It is reputed that famous artist of the Renaissance period, Leonardo da Vinci visiting the island bought a large size table cloth, which he later gave to the Milan Cathedral as a present. It is also said that he made use of the patterns on the table cloth in his unfinished oil painting called ‘‘Last Supper’’ he had been painting on the wall. Today, this pattern which is known as ‘‘dere’’ (stream) is also known as Leonardo da Vinci pattern.

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Gallery

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The Widgetkit Gallery provides smart and automated way to publish images on your website. You only need to select the image folders and the whole gallery is generated automatically.

Features

  • Folder based image selection
  • Automatic thumbnail creation
  • Support for multiple image folders
  • Uses the Widgetkit Slideshow and all its features
  • Support for image captions
  • Build with HTML5, CSS3, PHP 5.2+, and the latest jQuery version
  • Works with Joomla 1.5, 1.6, WordPress and Stand-alone

Example

How To Use

The Widgetkit Gallery comes with a user-friendly administration user interface which let's you create new galleries with just a few clicks. The integrated directory browser let's you easily add or remove source directories of your images. All galleries can be loaded anywhere in your theme using shortcodes or the universal Widgetkit Joomla module or WordPress widget.

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Media Player

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The Widgetkit Media Player is a HTML5 audio and video player completely built HTML and CSS. You can easily embed video files into your website by using the HTML5 video element. A Flash player fallback is included for all unsupported browsers.

Features

  • Native playback for modern HTML5 browsers
  • Completely built with HTML and CSS
  • Same UI in all browsers
  • Create our own skins
  • Flash player fallback for unsupported browsers
  • Works with Joomla 1.5, 1.6, WordPress and Stand-alone

Examples

This is a MP3 Audio Sample:

How To Use

Use the HTML5 video element to embed video in your website. For example:

<video src="/video.mp4" width="320" height="240"></video>

You can also provide multiple sources, to add support for the different video formats like h.264, WebM or Ogg:

<video width="320" height="240">
	<source type="video/mp4"  src="/video.mp4" />
	<source type="video/webm" src="/video.webm" />
	<source type="video/ogg"  src="/video.ogv" />
</video>

Use the HTML5 audio element to embed MP3 files in your website. For example:

<audio src="/audio.mp3" type="audio/mp3"></audio>

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