Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Cyprus - My 7 day circuit across the country - Day 3 late afternoon - North Cyprus - North Nicosia - the Aya Sofya Cathedral; the Haydarpasa Mosque and the Büyük Han - The 7th of November 2016


We explored part of the North Nicosia walled city on foot having started by visiting the former Cathedral Church of St. Sofia erected by the Lusignan Kings from 1208 through to 1326, which is still considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the Middle East.

One doesn't immediately notice the beautiful entrance  portal, which just happens the moment you stand right in front of it prior to entering what has in 1954 become the Selimiye Camii Mosque. As it would be expected all images were removed, some of the Gothic stone sculptures chipped away and the interior stripped of any form of ornamentation, with the exception of three mihrabs indicating the direction of Mecca and the floor carpets.
It would soon be praying time so we walked out and headed in the direction of yet another Mosque- the Haydarpasa Mosque, originally St. Catherine's Church which is also said to have been receted by the Lusignans in the 14th century.

The Mosque, which now houses a Modern Art Gallery was closed so we just walked around it  admiring the construction to which a somewhat disproportionate minaret was added during the Turks occupation. It soon fell dark and the bluish glooming light gave it a special touch, I felt

We still made it through to the Büyük Han, a former caravanserai, siad to be one of the most interesting Ottoman buildings in Cyprus built in 1572 to provide accommodation for travellers from Anatolia and other parts of Cyprus. We didn't stay long but  had nevertheless a few minutes to admire the octogonal Muslim shrine and prayer hallwith an ablution fountain.


No comments:

Post a Comment