Famagusta /ˌfæməˈɡʊstə, ˌfɑː-/ (Greek: Αμμόχωστος [locally [aˈmːoxostos]]; Turkish: Mausa [mɑˈɰusɑ], or Gazimausa [gɑːzimɑˈɰusɑ]) is a city on the east coast of Cyprus. It is located east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour of the island. During the medieval period (especially under the maritime republics of Genoa and Venice), Famagusta was the island's most important port city, and a gateway to trade with the ports of the Levant, from where the Silk Road merchants carried their goods to Western Europe. The old walled city and parts of the modern town presently fall within the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in Gazimausa District of which it is the capital.
In antiquity, the town was known as Arsinoe (Ancient Greek: Ἀρσινόη), after Arsinoe II of Egypt, and was mentioned by that name byStrabo. In Greek it is called Ammochostos (Αμμόχωστος), meaning "hidden in [the] sand". This name developed into Famagusta(originally Famagouste in French and Famagosta in Italian), used in Western European languages, and to its Turkish name, Mausa. In Turkish, the city is also called Gazimausa; Gazi means veteran in Turkish, and the city has been officially awarded with the title after 1974 (compare Gaziantep). In Armenian, Famagusta is called Ֆամակուսթա Famagust'a. The old town is nicknamed "the city of 365 churches" owing to a legend that at its peak, Famagusta boasted one church for each day of the year.