Central Jail of Lefkosia
The Central Jail of Lefkosia is located just to the west of the walled part of the city and not too far south of the Green Line.
It is known primarily for the Imprisoned Tombs where 13 heroes of the EOKA struggle against the British (1955 - 1959) were interred. Nine of them were hanged by the British, three fell on the battlefield, one died in hospital from his battle wounds.
The tombs were built in an area adjacent to the cells of the condemned and close to the gallows where they would be executed. The area is surrounded by tall walls and covered by glass.
The small cemetery was a brain-child of Cyprus Governor Sir John Harding who did not want the funerals of EOKA fighters to be turned into demonstrations against British rule. The condemned, as well as four others who fell on the battlefield, would be buried in the area without any relatives or even a priest present. The nine men that were hanged, were buried immediately following their execution. Hydrochloric acid would be poured on the corpses so the exact place of burial is not known.
The nine men who were executed were:
- Michalis Karaolis
- Andreas Dimitriou
- Iakovos Patatsos
- Andreas Zakos
- Charilaos Michail
- Michail Koutsoftas
- Stelios Mavrommatis
- Andreas Panagidis
- Evagoras Pallikaridis - aged 19.
The other four were:
After Cyprus gained her independence, the area became a national monument where thousands visit. A sign proclaiming "Του ανδρειωμένου ο θάνατος, θάνατος δεν λογιέται" - "The brave man's death is no death at all" was put up against one of the walls.
During the Turkish invasion of Cyprus (1974) battles raged around the Central Jail of Lefkosia. Vastly outnumbered, the Cypriot national guardsmen - aided by corrections officers - managed to fight off the Turks and keep the jail with its Imprisoned Tombs from being captured.