Kyrenia Gate in North Nicosia, North Cyprus.
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photo by: Sinem Tulipa Turcica
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Kyrenia Gate

Kyrenia Gate
photo by: TRNC Ministry of Tourism
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The Kyrenia (or Girne) Gate is the northern entrance to the ancient walled city of Nicosia. Originally, there were three gates into the Venetian walled city; the Paphos Gate, the Famagusta Gate and the Kyrenia Gate. The Kyrenia Gate was always the tradition entry into the Turkish part of the city. Indeed, when you visit Nicosia on your North Cyprus holiday, chances are you’ll enter this fascinating city via the Kyrenia Gate, as this is where most buses from the north coast will drop you.

The Venetian Porta de la Proveditore, Nicosia

The Kyrenia Gate was originally called the Porta de la Proveditore, or "Gate of the Military Governor". Here, the Venetians installed a defensive portcullis and placed a Lion of St Mark on the gate. The Ottomans rededicated the gate with an inscription; "O Muhammad, give these tidings to the Faithful; Victory is from God and triumph is very near, O opener of doors, open for use the best of doors."

Kyrenia Gate from Air
photo by: Ozgur Gokasan
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Live Long and Prosper?

In 1878, when the British came to the walls of Nicosia to annex the island, they were finally allowed into the city via the Kyrenia Gate by the Turkish gatekeeper, named Ali. Clearly the job suited him nicely, as Ali allegedly lived to the ripe old age of 120!

The Kyrenia Gate in North Nicosia Today

The Kyrenia Gate has lost much of its original majesty thanks to the British breaching the walls either side of the gate in 1931, and driving a road through. Today, the gate stands in the middle of the Inönü Meydani, isolated from the walls it used to guard so effectively. It is now used as a combination of guardhouse and tourist information booth.