HISTORY OF FAMAGUSTA
The town of Famagusta was built on the ruins of the ancient city of Arsenoe which itself was built to replace the city of Salamis after its sacking by Arab raiders in 648 A.D. and grew into a small fishing port.
In 1921, after the fall of Acre, Crusaders began to settle in the town bringing with them the vast wealth they had accumulated in their conquests in the Holy Lands, creating, in Famagusta, the richest city in the Eastern Mediterranean. To proclaim the superiority of Christianity and to appease God of their sins, the inhabitants built churches all over the city. At one time there were 365 churches in Famagusta - one for every day of the year. Later conflicts between the Venetians and the Genoese in the city, coupled with the increasing amount of resources and energy being channelled into defence in fear of an Ottoman invasion, seriously hampered trade and further development of the city.
In 1571 the Ottomans took the city and Famagusta, no longer having strategic or economic importance, reverted to the insignificant port town - that it had been before.
During British rule much of the architectural heritage of Famagusta was lost when stone was taken from many historical sites to build the Suez Canal.