NICOSIA is the capital city and the largest on the island with a population in the Southern sector of some 120,000 . It is the only sizeable inland town and it houses the main government offices as well as the headquarters of many major local and international companies .The Presidential Palace is in Nicosia which is a busy commercial centre today .

The capital , (in Greek called "Lefkosia" , most probably after its founder , Lefkon , son of Ptolemy I ) lies close to the ancient site of Ledra . It grew in size in the 7th. century when people from the coastal areas moved inland to escape attacks by neighbouring countries and quickly became the most important city in Cyprus .

The walls which enclose the old part of the city were constructed by the Venetians to withstand an expected invasion by the Turks in 1570 . They were strengthened by eleven bastions and a birds-eye view of the circular wall today features in the city's official emblem . Entry was by three gates , one of which is still used today , though no longer as a crossing point .