Famagusta is one of the main cities of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Having said Turkish, it has been Turkish since 1571. Before that the Venetians ruled the city. Today we see the remains of the Venetians in the historical center. The most striking building to see in the historical center is, of course, St. Nicholas Cathedral or better known as Lala Pasha Mosque
Fondest memory: It was back in May 2011 when I first visited in Famagusta. I went there to visit my husband. He was doing his military service there. At the time, I was suffering from a back pain but I was so eager to see the city. So, instead of wandering around the city center, we went to a panaromic view spot by the sea. It was almost sun set and when I saw the nice building and took this picture, I couldn't help but say out loud "What a gorgeous castle and a tower!". My husband and few people around us started laughing. Then, I learned that I was looking at a mosque, which was once a castle and I was looking at a minaret, not a tower :)
Once upon a time, it was called Arsinoe, after Arsinoe II of Egypt, then in Greek Ammokhostos (hidden in sand) and then again Famagusta. The Turkes called it Gazi-Mağusa, or in short Mağusa - and by this na it is known now.
Throughout the centuries people from various countries came to this town: Lusignans, Palestinians, Italians (mainly from Venice and Genoa), Ottomans, the Brits and finally the Turks. Influences of all these people can be seen all over town, and - despite what guidebooks write - it's a real architectural delight. A town of many beauties, and mysteries.
Fondest memory: The old town is a place to see... with many old sights to enjoy, churches, mosques, shrines and the impressive Venetian walls. Then there is the new town, which is nothing spectacular but it's quite a pleasant place nevertheless... and finally Maras (Varosha) the ghost town, abandoned and sealed off by the UN - which was once the area inhabited by the Greek-cypriots. Not a pretty sight, but one that needs to be seen...