Orthodox church and mosque in Dipkarpaz (Rizokarpaso)
Before 1974, the town was predominantly inhabited by Greek-Cypriots. During the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the peninsula was cut off by Turkish troops, and this prevented the town's Greek-Cypriot inhabitants from fleeing to the south. As a result, with 250 Greek-Cypriot inhabitants, Rizokarpaso is the home of the biggest Greek-speaking population in the North. Although the Greek-Cypriot population is now mainly elderly and shrinking in size, they are still supplied by the UN, and Greek-Cypriot products are consequently available in some shops.
The town has two churches: St. Synesios and the church of the Holy Trinity. They are examples of the typical Cypriot mixed style, combining features of the late Gothic introduced by the Lusignans with the late Byzantine style of the Orthodox tradition. When the island's Orthodox bishops were banished by the Lusignans in 1222, the Bishop of Famagusta was sent to Rizokarpaso and continued his work in St. Synesios, the main Orthodox church in the region. These are two of the few Christian churches to operate in the northern part of Cyprus, and has allegedly had services stopped by the Turkish Cypriot police.
Rizokarpaso is partly located in the ancient city of Karpasia on the West coast, according to legend founded by king Pygmalion.