The capital of Cyprus, Nicosia, the only big town in the interior of the islet, grew up in the seventh century A.D. on the theater of antique Ledra. It was chosen as the administrative hub of Cyprus when the coastal towns became gradually more unsafe as a result of frequent looting and plunder. The Venetians took control of Nicosia in 1489 and built up the metropolis walls, which are a central part of the character of the metropolis. In spite of their huge edifice, the walls proved of little use when the Turks made their attack. The township was the seat of the British governor from 1878 and many of the administrative buildings date from that royally period.