Catwalks in the old town of Nicosia

Story Tangible Intangible Natural Other
Organization name
Phaneromenis70 center
Catwalks in the old town of Nicosia

Cats are an integral part of the history of Cyprus, myth has it that they were brought by St. Helen during a period when the country suffered from a terrible drought, resulting in a dangerous proliferation of snakes on the island, so the cats acted as Saviors.

In the city of Old Nicosia, visitors wandering around important monuments discover feeders for the beloved cats of the locals, who, fearing upcoming droughts to this day, made sure that there was always water and food for the little animals.

The relationship between man and animal is an integral part of the culture of Cypriot citizens, something they want to reinforce to visitors to the country. Man, culture, nature, and cats are part of the cultural identity of Cyprus, something that the Phaneromeni 70 cultural organization wishes to highlight. What would the monuments of old Nicosia be without the people and cats that surround them?

How does this dynamic relationship summarize the identity of a place and the dissemination of its culture?

Our story about cats has exactly this purpose to delve into this relationship and invite locals and visitors to be part of this story.

Through interactive activities and tours, they will in turn can create their own story and blend their cultural identity with that of Cyprus.

The story of the cats in the city of Old Nicosia, deals with the relationship of the cultural identity of Cyprus with nature and cats.

Based on the myth, where cats save citizens from snakes, we are transported to the present day. Only now people must protect the cats from weather phenomena and on this journey, we invite people who love culture, nature, and animals in general.

In organized walks/workshops from Phaneromenis 70, visitors will have the opportunity to locate waterers and feeders for our little friends (cats) in the cultural monuments and at the same time with a special guide to learn important historical details, but also hidden stories in these monuments.

The Medieval Venetian Walls, the Famagusta and Paphos Gates, the Laiki Neighborhood, the Hamam Omerie, the Manson Αξιοthea, the Statue of Liberty, the Pancyprian Gymnasium as well as the Aqueduct, are the monuments that we will visit on our walks.

The city of old Nicosia, divided between its free and northern area, covered by the green line, a line it acts as a no-go point for the citizens of both parts of Nicosia, but at the same time free for the nature and animals, who thrive in this area.

The small animals are loved not only by citizens on both sides but also by nature in general, as the green line acts as another home for them.

Here the feeling of freedom from animals and the selfless love and care of people of different cultures and cultural identities is pervasive. After all, human nature tends to love and associate with other living beings, human or animal.

Through the tour of the cultural sites of the free and northern (occupied) zone of Nicosia, participants will have the opportunity to discuss the feelings that this tour created for them and the monuments that caught their attention the most. They will have the opportunity to take care of the cats, and then take turns to tell their own cultural stories about the monuments, both about the places they come from and the cultural tours they have taken overtime.

The next step in our history is dissemination.

The participants who will take part will have the mission to disseminate the history of the cultural identity of Cyprus and its cats.

They will be able to upload to their personal social networking pages and to the Phaneromeni 70 organization the material of the actions that took place, photos, videos, texts, all their thoughts and ideas from the specific action.


European Dimension

European heritage is a wealth that must be preserved and enhanced for future generations. As an organization that promotes culture, we believe that cultural heritage has a pan-European character, as it consists of contributions of cultural, historical, and philosophical elements from different national and cultural communities. Something that is perceived in Cyprus precisely because of the division, because the love of all people for nature, animals and life in general is something that is perceived precisely through our history. People of both countries are countering political ambitions with a simple gesture of caring for a cat.

A fact that demonstrates that all peoples within their cultural identity share common goals of loving nature and animals that most people consider sacred.

The present story will influence the European scene through the dissemination and promotion of cultural heritage through educational programs, cultural events, and online platforms. It aims to encourage solidarity, understanding and respect between European citizens, thus strengthening European integration and peace in the world.