Reconstruction of Everyday Life
in the 19th Century Nicosia

Project Summary


The aim of the proposed study is to present a unique insight to the everyday life of the city of Nicosia; the study will concern both the socio- economic identity of its people and the spatial organization of its buildings within the walls of the city during the turn of the 19th century. The core of the information will be drawn from the archives of the Land Registry Department in Nicosia and the first ever land survey conducted in the city and headed by Lord Kitchener in the 1880’s. These documents in their whole had not been researched or published before and are now in neglect.

The interest the city of Nicosia bears, spurs from the fact that in its locality a population of Muslims coexisted with the Christian-Orthodox population as well as with other minorities, in an interesting intertwine of culture and religion located in the dense built environment within the city walls. Through the information provided by the title deeds we will be able to present a unique insight to the multicultural community of people inhabiting the walled city of Nicosia; the they settled in the locality of the different mahallas/neighborhoods forming a close-knit community, their names, occupations, family ties and everyday activities.

Through a meticulous study of the available surviving maps of the area the study will aim to construct a 3D interactive model, which will represent the urban organizational pattern of the walled city. In that way we will be able not only to preserve the title deeds’ information but most importantly to spatially allocate all the findings within the urban context of a 3D interactive model of the city and finally present a unique insight to the everyday life of the city and its inhabitants.

This tool aims to stand as an educational platform for students so that they will be able to learn through interactive walkthroughs and role playing games within the 3D environment about the city of Nicosia and everyday activities of people at the period. At the same time the 3D representation of the city and exact 3D recreation of landmark buildings and sites will pose as an invaluable tool to professionals (architects, archaeologists, historians, urban planners) concerned with the old city of Nicosia. In time this 3D model will be able to be enriched and expanded by the input of further research done in the field of history and architecture of the city of Nicosia.

One of the most ambitious parts of this project is the integration of intelligent autonomous virtual characters behaving in a realistic manner. These characters will be accurately presented drawing on archive information and old photographs; they will be dressed according to their faith denomination, their occupation and social status. By integrating realistic characters, the dynamics of urban life will be accurately portrayed historically; the city will be enriched with life giving it an even more realistic appearance and feel. Novel crowd simulation algorithms will be developed that will take into account social behaviour and customs of people as was exhibited during the 19th century within the walled city of Nicosia.

Latest Updates

    RecoNLife is finished.

    This project has finished, but our goal of digitally preserving the story of Nicosia will continue.