Easy to wander by these trees, on the western harbourside nearly opposite the Tourist information Office.
But they are special enough to have a written notice almost hidden underneath their shade.
They are 'the loving trees', 150-200 years old exampls of Bella Solarius.
They originate in Africa, and always grow in a groupl with male and female trees entangled and entwined (hence their common name).
The branches are almost hollow inside, and were used for boatbuilding.
Nice to see them, and even nicer to see a sign explaining a little about them.
Not really off-the-beaten-path but you may well wander past without taking heed. The memorial is on Kordon Boyu.
Kemal Ataturk, 'the great Turkish statesman who abhorred war' was honoured by the United Nations in 1978.
'An outstanding example of promoting the spirit of mutual understanding between peoples and lasting peace throughout the world'.
'An exceptional reformer in all fields coming within Unesco's competence'.
A sign near the memorial gives more details in Turkish and English.
A good man.
What was the ancient and huge Ottoman cemetery has been made into a pleasant green sitting area, just to the east of the main square (Belediye Meydani).
Many of the tombs are long gone, but you can still see a few dotted about. The rather lovely Baldoken Turbe, a domed tomb with gazebo, still remains and six similar tombs, now gone, are marked out in concrete nearby.
A nice place to sit and people-watch for a while...the town car-park next door means there is plenty of coming and going, and there are trees to provide welcome shade.
This mosque stands just back from the harbour (and very near my hotel). Its (now taped) calls to prayer ring out from the minaret five times a day. I could hear it clearly from my hotel room; very atmospheric, and strangely reassuring.
The mosque dates from 1589, although my guidebook suggests it may originally have been a carob warehouse. It's certainly old, although I was unable to visit inside during my stay.
You may be able to get in and have a look around. Dress appropriately and behave courteously if you do so.
A side trip to Saint Hilarion castle is very much recommended, the road getting there is very scenic and the castle itself is fairy-tale like. It dates back to the 11th century and it's located on a mountain - with parts of it emerging from the mountain and using the rocky cliffs as part of the construction. At times mountain and castle blend magically. The castle is divided in three different parts, lower, middle and upper part - and it is believed to have had more than 100 rooms and apartments.
When you walk through the gate and inside the caste walls, the first place you'll encounter is the lower part, which is also the largest part, where where soldiers and animals used to live... buildings were basic and simple, there... stables, basically. There are several custodian towers, there.
The middle part is further up the mountain, after a house with a vaulted passage (the Gate House); there is also a church there, the church annexes, a water cistern, a kitchen and its cellars, a large 14th century hall (possibly the refectory) and some 13th century Royal Apartments.
The upper part, quite a long way above the middle part, is where the real Royal Apartments would have been - views from there are breathtaking. The royal apartments up there, which date back to the 14th century, used to have their own water cistern and kitchen. There was also a large courtyard flanked by the twin crests of mountain upon which it is built.
Bellapais Abbey is the main reason why one would visit Bellapais - it's the ruins of an abbey. more than a "full-standing" abbey - but it's so picturesque that it would be a pity not to visit it.
Its construction dates back to the early 13th century, near Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus and in the past it had both been a residence of the Bishops of Kyrenia and their refuge during the Arab raids of the 7th and 8th centuries. Later on it also became the home of various kings and even a military hospital.
The abbey as you see it now, after changes and restorations, is an impressive Gothic abbey with a belfry above the entrance. There are beautiful arches on three sides of the cloisters, a lavabo made of two Roman sarcophagi where the monks performed ablutions, a Chapter House, a Common Room, where the monks used to work and study, and a stunning and large Refectory.
It's easy to get there - being located only 15 minutes by car from Kyrenia. Taxis will take you there for about 15 Turkish liras (they all run by the meter) and drop you right by the side of the abbey. Do visit towrds the end of the morning: Bellapais village is noted for its fine restaurants.
Bellapais is a charming little village on the edge of a mountain, that is built around what is now a ruined abbey. This village was made famous by Lawrence Durrell (brother of the more famous Gerald Durrell) who lived here in the 1950's when Cyprus was experiencing a lot of internal turmoil as relationships between the Greeks/Turks/British boiled up. A lot of British were assassinated during the troubles, but Durrell semed to be perceived as a neutral as he lived with the locals away from the British and taught in a school where he was friendly with the local kids.
These days of Course, Lawrence Durrell is long gone (and long dead), but some of his legacy lives on. He famously describes in his book about a large tree (that was appropriately nicknamed the "Tree of Idleness") which all of the villagers used to lounge around under in its shade and drink all day. Although there is some debate as to where this tree is today (or whether the original still actually exists).
The Abbey is definitely worth visiting and is very close to Kyrenia. It is also possible to walk up the hill and see the outside of Durrells old house (although whn I visited it, it belonged to a German couple!). There is a commemorative plate up on the house, although you will probably need to ask directions to find it!
Ayia Sophia is a cathedral/mosque in Nicosia. She can trace her roots back as far as 1209 and was built during the crusades by French stone masons (Cyprus has been invaded many times over the years and has influences from all over Europe and beyond). Construction lasted 150 years, although the church was consecrated in 1326. Some parts of it were never finished.
In the 1500's, the Ottoman Turks conquered the city, and converted the cathedral into a mosque (this included burning the pews and the pulpit) and whitewashing the walls.
It is not unusual that if you wander past and go inside (taking your shoes off first) that you can have the place to yourself. On one occasion I was inside taking some photographs believeing I had the place to myself when I heard a strange sound coming from a corner. On further investigation I realised that whilst I wasn't the only person in there, I was the only conscious person - I was sharing the place with a rather large old lady who was snoring away soundly in the corner...
As most people know, Cyprus is a divided island. The Turks live in the North, the Greeks live in the South, and the UN peacekeepers live inbetween them in an area known as the Green Line. The South is also known as the Republic of Cyprus, and is recognised around the world. The North is also known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and is only recognised by Turkey.
Not only is Cyprus a divided country, but the capital city is also divided between North and South. For foreigners it can get confusing as one place can have several different names, as Greeks Turks and the British have all given the same place (Britain did at one point have sovereign territory over Cyprus). The capital city is a fine example of this. The Greeks call it Lefkosia, The Turks call it Lefkosa, and the British call it Nicosia.
There are very few places of worship in Cyprus that are either not Greek Orthodox. This is bit of a curio on the Turkish side and appears to be an Anglican Church - I couldn't say for sure as I didn't go in! It's called Saint Andrew's Church and apparently all denominations are welcome inside.
Bellapais is 4 miles east of Kyrenia and was the home of Lawrence Durrell - he wrote his novel 'Bitter Lemons' there. Nearby is the beautiful Bellapais Abbey, built between 1198 and 1205.
Please note - the village of Bellapais is very hilly in parts - take some good walking shoes.
Besides the 7th century Castle in the harbour there are several other attractions to be visited in the round area and the outskirts of Kyrenia. One that really stands out is the Medieval Temple...