Venetian Palace Ruins

Famagusta, Cyprus

At the western end of Namik Kemal square, you will find the remains of the Venetian governor's palace (Palazzo del Proveditore). When the Venetians took over Cyprus, it was not by force, but as the end result of intrigue perpetrated over many years. In 1468 they arranged a marriage between the Lusignan king James II, and Caterina Cornaro, the 18 year old daughter of one of Venice's most noble families.

The Venetians immediately began converting the city from a French medieval one to an Italian renaissance one. They moved the capital of Cyprus from Nicosia to Famagusta, and around 1550 built the palace we see today on the ruins of a 13th century Lusignan one. The Lusignan palace was used as living accommodation for the kings of Cyprus till 1369, when it was destroyed by earthquakes.

The Venetian palace was largely destroyed by the Ottomans, but what little remains is impressive. The most noticeable part is the three-arched entrance to one side of Namik Kemal Square. It mirrored the triumphal archways of ancient Rome, and they were even able to use genuine Roman columns salvaged from Salamis. The upper part of the gateway imitates the temples of Greece and Rome, while above the central arch can be seen the arms of Giovani Renier, the Italian Governor of Cyprus at the time.

Until recently, the palace was used as a car park. However it has now been paved over and is frequently used as a venue for open air concerts.



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Founded: c. 1550
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Cyprus


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Donna W (6 months ago)
Lovely area to walk around within the city. The ruins & the mosque (which loan you cover up clothing if you have too much skin on show).
Larry Millen (10 months ago)
Nice place, lots of history lots to see and photograph nice ice cream place in the square.
Pietro Chierichetti (2 years ago)
Beautiful but it must be restored and enhanced!
David Smith (3 years ago)
Yet more beautiful architecture in Famagusta, but as the title suggests not a lot remains.
Nima Kianian (5 years ago)
when you are watching at Lala Mustafa Pasa just turn around 180 degrees and you can see the Gate. Go inside it and watch those high arches, nice architecture and ... .
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