Hailing from Cyprus, we chat to Constantinos Charalambous, a photographer who loves experimenting with urban photography. Join us on this walking tour as he captures the spirit of his city.
Words and Photos: Constantinos Charalambous
Photography is important to me because it gives me an escape from routine.
Through my camera I try to capture the people, the architecture and in general, the life of the city.
As a photographer I’m interested in the old town a lot.
I want to give you the essence of the old town, the mixture of cultures and generally how life flows.
What I like about Nicosia is that you can find refurbished houses and after walking a very short distance you encounter old abandoned houses.
This antithesis exists and I personally find it pretty fascinating.
One might not expect Nicosia to be a city of culture or a city where you can actually do anything.
After all, Cyprus is famous for the summer. A holiday destination.
Let me give you an idea about Nicosia (also known as Lefkosia in Greek).
It is the capital city located in the middle of Cyprus.
Cyprus is a very small island.
This gives visitors and residents the ability to travel from one town to another within a short time.
Naturally, that makes Nicosia the location for government and various businesses to have their headquarters or central offices there.
Nicosia has a particularity compared with other European cities.
It is divided into two parts under Greek and Turkish rule.
Despite this, there are access points at certain locations where residents can visit each part.
Currently, life is peaceful and quiet.
The history of the city is quite rich.
The old town is enclosed within walls that Venetians started constructing in 1567.
One can encounter many old monuments, which mark the city’s past.
For decades the old town had been almost abandoned.
Only a few traditional shops remained there and there was actually nothing interesting.
The last years marked a fast revival of the old town.
Now, many perceive it as a cultural centre, but there is a lot more going on.
Many old abandoned houses and shops now give their soul to host bars, restaurants (which provide a traditional/modern fusion), exhibitions, events, markets and galleries.
There are also many workshops.
Keep walking and you will also find yourself looking at some graffiti.
An important factor, which contributed to the revival of the old town, was that many people seized the opportunity to refurbish old houses, rebuild their lives, and permanently start living there.
The old town is coming back to life.
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