Gate sights in Cyprus
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This westernmost gate, known by the Venetians as Porta San Domenico, is one of the three traditional entrances to Old Lefkosia. It has been a spot for a kind of flag stand-off since 1963, with the flags of the Republic of Cyprus, Northern Cyprus, Greece and Turkey fluttering defiantly at each other. The gate served as an arsenal warehouse for the Ottomans, and as a police headquarters for the British.
The Pafos Gate, left firmly open, guards a narrow pedestrian passage under the wall. The adjoining breach in the wall that allows traffic into the Old City is a much later addition.
The most photographed and best preserved of the three original gates that led into the Old City of Lefkosia. It's in the Caraffa Bastion off Leoforos Athinas. Following more than a century of neglect, the whole structure was renovated in 1981 and now serves as a concert venue and exhibition hall. Its impressive wooden door and sloping façade opens out onto a tunnel that leads through the rampart wall.
Outside the tunnel and to the right is a small open-air arena where concerts by visiting artists are held, usually during the summer months. The area surrounding the gate has great trendy eating and drinking places.
This is the only spot on the island reserved exclusively for pedestrian and bicycle crossings between the North and the South. Masses of tourists and locals now cross from one side to the other, and many cross in the middle of the night too, after a late night out.
The crossing is partially blocked by a blue-and-white painted wall with graphic posters depicting those missing since the 1974 invasion. There are also posters depicting the murder of three Greek Cypriots by Turkish soldiers near Deryneia in the eastern part of the island at a demonstration in 1996. On Sunday mornings Greek Cypriot women gather to remember the 1974 invasion and hand out literature to the…