Lencosia Nicosia, Or Lefkosha, a town of Asiatic Turkey, capital of Cyprus, situated in the N. part of the island, 9 m. from the sea; pop. about 12,000, two thirds of whom are Turks. It is about three miles in circuit, and surrounded by strong walls with three gates. With the exception of the Greek quarter, the town is generally ill built with narrow unpaved streets and hut-like houses. There are some imposing buildings, among which are the mosque of St. Sophia, formerly a Christian church, the church of St. Catharine, the Armenian church, the church of St. Nicholas, now used as a grain depot, the seraglio or governor's palace, erected as a royal residence while the island was held by the Christians, and the palace of the Greek archbishop. There are manufactures of Turkey leather, carpets, and silk, and British calicoes are printed for exportation. The Cyprus wines are produced on the neighboring hills. - Nicosia in the time of Constantine the Great was 9 m. in circuit, and before Cyprus came into the possession of Venice had 300 churches.
It was taken from the Venetians by the Turks in 1570, when 20,000 of its inhabitants perished.