Nicosia (Greek: Λευκωσία, Turkish: Lefkoşa), population 177,410 (1992), is the capital of Cyprus. Located on the Pedieos River, Nicosia is the center of an administrative district, and it is currently the only divided capital city in the world, with the northern (Turkish) and southern (Greek) portions divided by the "Green Line", a demilitarized zone maintained by the United Nations. The city is a trade center and manufactures textiles, leather, pottery, plastic, and other products. Copper mines are nearby.
Known as Ledra or Ledrae in ancient times, the city was the seat of the kings of Cyprus from 1192, became a Venetian possession in 1489, and fell to the Turks in 1571. Nicosia was the scene of extreme violence in the period just prior to independence, and since the Turkish invasion of 1974, part of the city's northern sector has been inside the boundary of a United Nations buffer zone.
The tombs of the Lusignan kings are in the former Church of St. Sophia, now a mosque. There also are remnants of Venetian fortifications.
See also Cyprus/Transnational issues