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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 403

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which rjjns g . an(j rtt 9 o'clock another stream running also S., at half past nine the road turned fa jj.E., wo were crossing higher hills, and reached the top at eleven. Then descending gently m ]iajf an uonr we passed a village called Corno, and at noon halted at the Greek °°ην%ΐ of Aia Tecla. We left at half past one, going N.N.E. at two o'clock we crossed a st'"Jeam, and at three saw the village of Teraforio close to us on the left. Then after leaving 011 2he right another village called Tisdarchani, and crossing a small river, we kept straight on/änd at six entered Nicosia, the capital of the island. ÉThe early part of our ride took ns through lulls, rising one above another and wonderfully π, a landscape worthy of the goddess to whom the island was dedicated. The seil is a vegetable mould, just such as one would wish for a garden. The higher mountains are Led of roche cornée in ovary shade of colour from apple-green to a blackish green : pieces ' of hornblende are found of great brightness >nd beauty. I halted a moment to exainiue these rocks, when M. Francoudi said, " these rocks are called Boca di Corno." I asked him whence had they this name, and he replied, "from a place which we shall see presently." This was the village of whioh I spoke above. If fortuitous, this identity of the vulgar and mineralogica] name is certainly remarkable : or, if otherwise, what mineralogist founded or named the village of Como ? I could learn nothing of the origin of the village, so it must be ancient. It may contain at most thirty houses; its situation is delightful, in the middle of a little valley full of olive and carob trees. The inhabitants are nearly all engaged in making earthen vessels. The mountains round are covered with wild cypresses iu beautiful clumps aud thickets. The tree takes its name from the island. In thè great groups of roche cornée one secs veins or filaments of quartz. I did net see the least trace of granite. These hills are certainly metalliferous, for they contain mica, as well as the oxides of copper and iron. At 2 p.m. we crossed a stream, and entered a plain of poor clayey soil : it may be a league in diameter, and ends E. in little hills of pure white clay, quite barren and bare. Leaving this desert yen find the soil of an inferior kind of vegetable mould. After this the plains have none of the beauty and fertility of the S. of the island. The convent of Aia Tecla is well placed on the slope of the same mountains. One monk lives there with several servants and labonrers who cultivate the rich fields belonging to it. The Arehbishop of Nicosia, the real prince of the island, enjoys the revenues of this and many other monasteries. The church is in good condition, and underneath it runs a spring of excellent water. The convent has cells and rooms for the convenience of travellers. The extent of Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, represents a town which would easily hold 100,000 inhabitants: but it is a desert: you see large gardens and great open spaces full of ruins and rubbish. 1 have been assured that it does not contain more than a thousand Turkish families and as many Greek. The situation of the city on an elevation ef some feet in the middle of a wide plain allows it to enjoy pure air and a fine view. The enclosing walls are scarped, with a revetment of cut stone, and broken by salient and re-entering angles, so that it is capable of a regular defence, and wears an imposing appearance. It has three gates called after Paphos, Chirigna and Famagosta. The last is magnificent; it is composed of a vast cylindrical vault which covers all the ramp or ascent from the lower level of the plain to the higher on which the city is built. Half-way up the slope is a flattened dome er segment of a sphere, in the middle of which is a round skylight. This monumental work, built as it is of huge cut stones or coarse marble, is worthy of the old inhabitants. There are a few fine streets in the Greek quarter, but the rest are narrow, crooked, and ALI BEY. 393

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