There is something very medieval about Nicosia, whether we notice it in our everyday lives or not. Maybe it is the walls, the monuments, the structure of the buildings, maybe it is all this together. This is what the third Medieval Nicosia Festival will try to figure out over the course of its five days.
The festival, organised by the Nicosia Tourism board and its Meet Nicosia, Meet Culture campaign that aims to grab more of the tourist flow visiting the island to take in the capital’s culture.
Speaking about the festival, event organiser Antigoni Heraclidou said “Nicosia has a very rich history and a big part of that history, that we see in the monuments and at the museum, are devoted to medieval times, so we thought that it would be a good way to promote Nicosia as a medieval destination and to project this rich civilization through the organisation of a medieval festival. The idea was born two years ago, originating from a tour guide called Mrs Loizidou.
The first year was kind of experimental but we saw that people embraced it and loved the whole idea and participated in the events so we are now continuing with the third Medieval Festival.”
Tourists come to Cyprus for the sunny beaches, so when asked if the festival has helped to push more tourists to come to the capital, Heraclidou said “it has helped bring more people to Nicosia, not to the extent that we had hoped but I think we are building up to that every year.”
The festival will start on Saturday with guided, walking tours around Nicosia, which will be in three different groups, English, Greek and Russian speaking. This two-and-a-half-hour tour will begin and end at Famagusta gate. On Saturday it will begin at 11am and it will also be repeated on March 28 at 3pm.
Saturday continues with a Medieval parade at 4pm. The Symphonic band of Strovolos Municipality-European University Cyprus will walk from Famagusta Gate to the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia, while playing their instruments. When they arrive at the museum, at around 5pm, the band will give a short medieval music performance – a great outdoor event that the whole family can enjoy.
On Sunday there will be a lecture by Professor Henri Franses from the American University of Beirut on Gold into Dark: Gold in Byzantine Painting at the Centre of Visual Arts and Research (CVAR) at 6.30pm. Then in the evening the Commandaria orchestra will give a medieval concert at the Holy Cross Catholic church at Paphos Gate at 8pm with free entrance.
On Monday the festival will offer the chance to meet Professor David Norbrook from the University of Oxford at CVAR at 6pm for a lecture entitled Lucy Hutchinson. Then onto Tuesday with a full day of events starting at 12pm at CVAR with a lecture by Dr Colm MacCrossan from Sheffield Hallam University who will talk about Mapping Othello as part of the Othello’s Island conference. Then at 3.30pm the action moves to the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia where there will be a guided tour and a closer look into the medieval history of Nicosia. The final event of the day will be at CVAR at 7pm when there will be a theatrical performance in English, of The Farce of a Fisherman by James Fizmaurice.
The last event of the festival on Wednesday will be a lecture by architect and art historian Anna Marangou entitled Quest for Ourselves Through Guilio Savrorgnano’s letters (1557-1670) at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation at 7.30pm.
Medieval Nicosia Festival
A five-day festival celebrating medieval Nicosia. March 24-28. Different locations around Nicosia at different times. Presentations and theatrical performance in English. Tel: 22-889704