While Lorenzo Warriner Pease was walking through the streets of Nicosia in 1835, the city appeared a unique combination of Oriental and European architecture, of splendour and poverty.
The streets in one part of the city are long and straight and many of the houses are well built of hewn stone. But the majority of the houses are now made of mud bricks dried in the sun and many of the stone dwellings which were going to decay are repaired with these bricks. The streets are not paved and many of them are made exceedingly muddy by the water which pours from the fountains and aqueducts. The whole city wears the appearance of decay. There is little enterprise. Does a man wish to build him a house, he makes his bricks with mud and straw, his roof of reeds made of the same composition of which he manufactures his bricks. Yet many houses here as well as in other parts of the island are furnished in a truly splendid style, with divans, looking glasses, tapestry, gold and silver plates. There is no natural reason existing for this rude and uncomfortable style of building. It must be looked for in the policy of the government, which has for ages looked with a jealous eye upon all attempts to work old mines and open new ones and which renders the external appearance of true comfort dangerous to the subject.
Few of the streets were paved but still had a gutter in the middle so that every passing horse or donkey gave the unfortunate pedestrian a chance to smell the odours and carry on his clothes a specimen of the colours of Lefcosia mud.
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