Nicosia (Turkish: Lefkosa, Greek: Lefkosia) is the capital city of North Cyprus. Nicosia is the center of administrative district, and currently the only divided capital in the world, with the northern Turkish and southern Greek portions divided by a "Green line"; a demilitarized zone maintained by the United Nations.
The name of the city dates back to approximately 2,250 years when it was known as Ledra or Ledrae. This name was changed soon to Lefkotheon but was also referred to as Ledron. The name changed once again in the Byzantine era to Lefkon which means "popular grove". The city served as a seat of the kings of Cyprus from 1192, it remained the capital of Cyprus since the 17th century, except for a brief period starting from 1489 when it was taken over by Venetians. Cyprus was taken over by Turks in 1571 and Nicosia became Capital again. The city went through major development during the Venetian's rule as they built huge, thick ramparts around the city. Nicosia (Lefkosia) was fortified with imposing stone walls and massive gates.The walls are three and half miles long and have eleven towers and three gates. The famous Famagusta Gate still stands today, proudly protecting the still-ancient town within from the modern city outside.
During the Ottomans era the city saw prosperity which is still visible by Gothic architecture of Selimiye Mosque, the Bedestan, the Arab Ahmat Mosque, and the Great Han Inn to name a few.
The modern divided capital is the result of Turkish invasion, which resulted because of rebellion against the government of Cyprus. The present day capital of the island has a population of around 150,000 and it is divided into Turkish and Greek sectors by a boundary known as the `green line' which runs in an east-west direction.