Nicosia is the largest city on the island of Cyprus. It is located near the centre of the Mesaoria plain, on the banks of the River Pedieos.
Nicosia is the capital and seat of government of the Republic of Cyprus, and as such is the farthest southeast of all EU member states' capitals. It has been continuously inhabited for over 4,500 years and has been the capital of Cyprus since the 10th century. The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities of Nicosia segregated into the south and north of the city respectively in 1963, following the intercommunal violence that broke out in the city. This division became a militarized border between the Republic of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus after Turkey invaded the island of Cyprus in 1974, occupying the north of the island, including northern Nicosia. Today, the northern part of the city is the capital of Northern Cyprus, a state recognized only by Turkey that is considered to be occupied Cypriot territory by the international community.
Apart from its legislative and administrative functions, Nicosia has established itself as the island's financial capital and its main international business centre. In 2012, Nicosia was the 5th richest city in the world in relative purchasing power.