Total route length: 2 kilometres
Starts: Cathedral of Ayios Ioannis tou Theologou, Nicosia
Ends: Church of Αrchangelos Michael tou Tripioti, NicosiaThe local route of the Old City is a tour of the churches in Nicosia that can be done on foot since the streets are narrow and very picturesque, ideal for walking. The Cathedral of Ayios Ioannis tou Theologou, located next to the Archbishop Palace and opposite the Pancyprian Gymnasium, has a very rich collection of frescoes of the 18th and 19th centuries. The next stop will be the Byzantine Museum of the “Archbishop Makarios III” Foundation, located next to the Cathedral. Amongst its wonderful exhibits are parts of the mosaic of the Church of Kanakaria which date back to the 6th century AD. The Church of Panayia tis Chrysaliniotissas is the most significant Byzantine church in Nicosia, while nearby is the 18th century church of Αyios Kassianos. Built in 1792, the Church of Panayia tis Faneromenis is of unique grandeur. The Church of Τimios Stavros tou Missirikou dates back to the years of Venetian rule while it was converted into a mosque under Ottoman rule. The Church of Ayios Antonios dates back to the 18th century and has a particularly significant wood-carved iconostasis and a carved stone bell tower. The last stop on this route is at the Church of Αrchangelos Michael tou Tripioti renowned for its beauty; in its interior lies an icon of the 15th century shows influences of Italian art.
2nd Local Route – Nicosia
Total route length: 149 kilometres
Starts: Church of Ayion Varnava and Ilariona, Peristerona
Ends: Church of Ayios Nikolaos tis Stegis, Kakopetria
The second route in Nicosia is in the greater area of the district and starts from Peristerona and the Church of Ayion Varnava and Ilariona. This church’s main characteristic is its five domes. Only some of the 12th and 15th centuries icons and frescoes survive. A bit further to the south lies the Church of Αyia Varvara which dates back to the 16th century, in the years of Venetian rule. The next stop is at the Church of Panayia tis Asinou in Nikitari, one of the ten churches included in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The route passes through Galata and the Church of Panayia tis Podithou, which is also in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The next visit is again in the village of Galata to the church of Αrchangelos Michael or Theotokos and then to the church of Αyios Sozomenos, which has been proposed for inclusion in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The route ends in Kakopetria and at Ayios Nikolaos tis Stegis, a church of the 13th century which is already one of the ten UNESCO’S World Heritage Sites of Cyprus.
3rd Local Route – Nicosia
Total route length: 73 kilometres
Starts: Spileo (cave) of Panayia tis Chrysospiliotissas, Kato Deftera
Ends: Μonastery of Ayios Panteleimonos Acheras, Agrokipia
This route starts from Kato Deftera and the Spileo (cave) of Panayia tis Chrysospiliotissas with frescoes of the 14th century where a large festival is held on August 15. The Nunnery of Ayos Erakleidios is situated in Politiko. The next stop is the renowned Μonastery of Panayia tou Machaira, one of the island’s most significant monasteries built in the 12th century with funds from Byzantine Emperors. Stop off in nearby Fikardou to admire the folk architecture. The village was declared in its enterety as an ancient monument by UNESCO. In Palaichori, the route passes from the Church of Panayia tis Chrysopantanassas in the centre of the village and the Εcclesiastical museum located very near the church. The Church of the Μonastery of Ayios Panteleimonos Acheras, with interesting icons and a wood carved iconostasis characteristic of ecclesiastical art under Ottoman rule, is to be found in Agrokipia.