Nicosia is the capital and seat of government of Cyprus, and as such is the farthest southeast of all EU member states’ capitals. It has been continuously inhabited for over 4,500 years and has been the capital of Cyprus since the 10th century.
The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities of Nicosia segregated into the south and north of the city respectively in 1963, following the crisis from 1955–64 that broke out in the city. This division became a militarized border between the Republic of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus after Turkey invaded the island of Cyprus in 1974, occupying the north of the island, including northern Nicosia. Today North Nicosia is the capital of Northern Cyprus, a state recognized only by Turkey, that is considered to be occupied Cypriot territory by the international community.
The Liberty Monument was erected in 1973 to honor the anti-British EOKA fighters of the Cyprus Emergency of 1955–1959. It is located at the Podocattaro Bastion of the Venetian walls.
The large monument contains several statues. Atop the structure, a statue representing liberty watches over two heroic EOKA fighters pulling chains to open a prison gate, allowing Greek Cypriot prisoners, peasants, and clergy (represented by various statues) to escape British rule.
Ledra Street is a major shopping thoroughfare in central Nicosia, Cyprus, which links North Nicosia, the part of the city under the control of the de facto Northern Cyprus, and south Nicosia.
It is the site of the former Ledra Street barricade, across the United Nations buffer zone. The barricade symbolised the division of Nicosia between the Greek south and Turkish north. It was removed in April 2008 and Ledra Street became the sixth crossing between the southern and northern parts of Cyprus. Ledra Street runs parallel to Onasagorou Street.
The name of the street refers to the ancient city-kingdom of Ledra, established in 1050 BC, that was located in the centre of the island where the capital city is today.