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Law Courts Building

Nicosia, North Cyprus

The law courts building, Nicosia, North Cyprus
The Law Courts Building

The administrative centre of Cyprus has been within the walled city of Nicosia from Lusignan times until the end of British rule. When the Ottomans took over the island, they used the existing buildings for their own use. The area round Sarayonu Square became the most important part of the walled city because all government offices were located here.

The Ottoman governor's mansion was formerly a Lusignan and Venetian palace. In 1901, the British destroyed this 700 year-old complex with its fine apartments, arcaded courtyard and throne hall in order to build the law courts and post office.

The main law courts building is rectangular in shape, with an internal courtyard. Several buildings are attached to the main structure, while others stand separately, making for a sizable complex which is surrounded by a low sandstone wall with iron railings. On the southeast corner of this wall is the coat of arms of the British empire.

The only remaining evidence of the original Lusignan palace is a sandstone Gothic window, which was located over the main entrance to the palace. Today, this is protected and exhibited at the Lapidary Museum.


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