Ledra Street – a symbol of a divided capital in 1999

Ledra Street is a major shopping street linking the southern and northern portions of Nicosia. The street was closed after the Turkish invasion of 1974 and remained so for 34 years.

It is the site of the former Ledra Street barricades, one Greek and one Turkish (at the other end), with views across the United Nations buffer zone. The barricade symbolised the division of Nicosia between the Greek south and Turkish north. The only divided capital city after 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was removed in April 2008 and Ledra Street became the sixth crossing between the southern and northern parts of Cyprus.

Prior to its removal there was an observation platform which allowed tourists to look into the UN buffer zone and across the green line to the Turkish barriers at the end of the road. Photographs being allowed depended on the soldier on duty at the time. My visit in 1999 stands in sharp contrast to my fellow border enthusiast Jan Krogh’s visit in 2012 here.

Current Road Layout

References

  1. Symbolic Cyprus crossing reopens. BBC 3 April 2008 here

Date of Visit: August 1999

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