Originally, Samanbahce or "straw field" is thought to have been one of several gardens used for growing fruits and vegetables for the residents of the Walled City.
As the demands for housing grew, Samanbahce was developed into a social housing complex. Although the exact date is not known, records show that by 1894, Samanbahce was partially built and functioning as social housing. Construction was done in phases and was completed in 1955.
The Samanbahce area covers about 2000 square metres, and is located on the northern edge of the walled city of Nicosia, very close to Kyrenia Avenue and the Bastion of Quirini. It is a unique neighbourhood with very defined geometric narrow roads. The units are of strong mud-brick construction with red tile roofs.
Samanbahce was the first known social housing to have been constructed in Cyprus, and consists of 72 separate units along 5 rows parallel to Kyrenia Avenue. Being the oldest known social housing estate in Nicosia, Samanbahce has been transformed into a charming traditional neighbourhood. A large fountain is located in the centre of the estate, and a large open space, used for parking and a children's playground, can be found in the northern corner. Currently 153 low-income residents are living in the Samanbahce area.
Restoration took place between September 2003 and April 2004. The project included upgrading of the facades, roofs, existing infrastructure and landscaping of the area, as well as pedestrianisation of public and semi-private open spaces for public works.
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