Ledra Palace Hotel
The Ledra Palace Hotel is located in central Nicosia, Cyprus, and until 1974 was one of the largest and most glamorous hotels of the capital. The hotel was designed by the German Jewish architect Benjamin Günsberg and was built between 1947-1949 by Cyprus Hotels Limited at a cost of approx £240,000 Cyprus pounds on what was then called King Edward VII Street, since 1962 Markos Drakos Avenue. The hotel opened on the 8th October 1949 in the presence of British Governor Sir Andrew Wright and Vice Mayor of Nicosia George Poulios. It originally had 94 bedrooms and 150 beds, officially rated as de luxe. All rooms had hot and cold water, central heating and a telephone. Facilities included a conference, reading, bridge and ballroom with orchestra. There were two restaurants, two bars and café. Located within the garden was a swimming pool (which was installed in 1964), paddling pool, children's playground and tennis courts. The hotel had two additional floors added in 1967-1968, thus raising its capacity to 200 rooms and 320 beds.
Following the announcement of truce it fell within the boundaries of the UN Buffer Zone and now serves as the headquarters for Sector 2 United Nations Roulement Regiment (URR) part of UNFICYP. The Ledra Palace Hotel has played host to many high level meetings between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, as well as hundreds of structured conflict resolution workshops between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot peace builders supported and facilitated both by international organizations (e.g., Fulbright, Institute of Multi-track Diplomacy, United States Agency for International Development and local pioneers (e.g., Cyprus Conflict Resolution Trainers Group). It is also used as the venue for cultural events aiming at bringing the two communities closer together as well as for meetings of general interest.
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