Eleftheria square

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Liberty Square
Eleftheria Square
NICOSIA, 11 AUGUST, 2011 100.jpg
General information
TypePublic, historical
LocationNicosia, Cyprus
OwnerCity of Nicosia, CY-EU

Eleftheria square (Greek: Πλατεία Ελευθερίας; Turkish: Eleftheria Meydanı, Özgürlük Meydanı); literally meaning Liberty Square, is the main square in central Nicosia, the capital city of Cyprus, in Europe. It forms the intersection of Ledra and Onasagorou streets with Stasinou, Omirou, Kostaki Pantelidi, Konstandinou Palaiologou and Evagorou avenues. It is considered one of Zaha Hadid's Top 35 projects.[1][2]

Overview[edit]

The name translates as Liberty square in English. Previously the square was called Metaxas square, in reference to the Greek statesman Ioannis Metaxas. It was renamed in 1974, following a competition held at the suggestion of the then Mayor of Nicosia.[3] It is located in the centre of the town below the Venetian walls of the medieval city. Nicosia town hall, located on D’Avila bastion, overlooks the square whilst Ledra Street leads onto its northern side. The project involves the use of sophisticated custom made materials and concepts.[4]

Renovation and remodeling of Eleftheria Square Nicosia Republic of Cyprus

Cultural importance[edit]

The square is usually the focus of various profile activities in the capital.[5] Examples include advertising promotions, political rallies and meetings such as the first meeting of the Occupy Buffer Zone movement on October 15, 2011,[6] and sporting events.[7] Celebrations such as Cyprus's accession to the European Union were also centered around the square.[8] As presently the square is not pedestrianized, when major events take place vehicles are redirected.[9]

Modern era[edit]

Liberty Square was not part of the original construction of the Venetian walls. It first took the form of a bridge constructed during the British Cyprus era when the island was under the dominion of the British Empire, at the end of the 19th Century. As the city expanded out of the medieval walls wooden bridges were constructed to facilitate transport. The original wooden bridge known as the Hajisavvas Opening (erected in 1882) was replaced with a solid concrete one, which survives to date.[3][10]

Expansion project[edit]

In 2005 an architectural competition was announced to redesign the historical square. This was won by a group led by Zaha Hadid.[11][3]

"Eleftheria Square constitutes a dramatic and historically significant 'architectural' intervention - an aspiration to reconnect the ancient city's massive fortified Venetian Walls and moat with the modern city and beyond - a bold vision of coherence and continuity which can become a catalyst to unify the last divided capital of Europe." Zaha Hadid Architects[12]

Criticism[edit]

The proposed plans have been criticized by some local designers.[13] In 2009 the initial excavation works revealed archaeological findings that have forced alterations to the original design.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Zaha Hadid's 35 most incredible buildings". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
  2. ^ "Eleftheria Square (Under Construction)". nicosia.org.cy. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
  3. ^ a b c "Architectural Competition for redesigning and landscaping Eleftheria Square and the surrounding area" (PDF). Municipality of Nicosia. 2005. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
  4. ^ "Complex Geometry Glass Balustrade: Eleftheria Square, Design and Construction". glassonweb.com. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  5. ^ "Bringing down the wall". worldarchitecturenews.com. Retrieved 2010-03-30.
  6. ^ http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/default.aspx?pageid=438&n=youths-occupy-buffer-zone-in-bid-to-reunify-cyprus-2011-11-29
  7. ^ Miller, Duby (2003-11-01). "Troodos Rally leg one summary". Motorsport.com. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
  8. ^ "Cypriots celebrate EU accession". Europe Intelligence Wire. Cyprus News Agency. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 2008-03-30.
  9. ^ "Eleftheria Square". durjaman.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  10. ^ Nicosia the Capital Of Cyprus Kevork Keshishan 1990 ISBN 9963-571-21-2
  11. ^ "European Competition for the Redesign of Eleftheria square". Nicosia Municipality. 21 April 2005. Archived from the original on 30 March 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2008.
  12. ^ "Eleftheria Square". Zaha Hadid Architects. Archived from the original on |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help). Retrieved 2008-03-30.
  13. ^ Levtchitch, Savvas (May 25, 2007). "Eleftheria Square and the walled city of Nicosia". Cyprus Mail. Archived from the original on May 21, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-30.

Coordinates: 35°10′12″N 33°21′36″E / 35.170°N 33.360°E / 35.170; 33.360