Tuesday’s storms caused damage worth tens of thousands of euros to Famagusta Gate, Nicosia, Phileleftheros reports.
Α piano was destroyed, as mud and water flooded the Gate.
“The piano was completely destroyed. It is one of the best and most expensive pianos in Cyprus. Its planned maintenance would have cost €30,000,” Nicosia mayor Constantinos Giorkatzis said.
Famagusta Gate would have closed for the whole of 2019 for maintenance work, however, the city council decided to close it from now, the mayor said.
Historian-archaeologist Anna Marangou said that in the Middle Ages, Pedieos river used to flow through walled Nicosia and the Famagusta Gate.
In 1571, the Venetians, who ruled Cyprus from 1489-1571, diverted the course of the river to stop it from running through the city.
“No one can change the course of a river, so on Tuesday, Pedieos returned to its natural course,” Marangou said.
According to Marangou, this is the second time that Famagusta Gate has flooded. The first was in the 19th century.
A Europa-Nostra award-winning monument, Famagusta Gate was constructed in 1567 by the Venetians. It is the largest of the three entrances into old Nicosia through the Venetian walls that completely encircled the old city.
Originally known as ‘Porta Giuliana,’ it was later renamed ‘Famagusta Gate’ as it opened onto the road that led to Famagusta, the most important harbour town of the island at the time.
During the early Ottoman period, only Turks were allowed to pass through the gate on horseback, while Christians and foreigners were obliged to walk.
Today the Gate is Nicosia Municipality Cultural Centre.