nicosia, north cyprus

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Nicosia, North

The capital city Nicosia (in Turkish Lefkoşa) which, over the course of its history, has also been known as Ledra, Lidra and Kermia, is surrounded by 4.5 km of city walls furnished with eleven  bastions and three city gates. Points of interest for a visit to Nicosia include the Kyrenia Gate (Porta Del Proveditore), one of the three gates which provides access through the historic city walls of Nicosia, the Mevlevi Tekke (Dervish Convent) from the 16th century, one of the most important sites associated with the Mevlevi sect in Cyprus, the Vnetian Column-obelisk (Dikilitaş), and the 16th century 68-room Great Khan (Büyük Han) dating from the Ottoman period, which now hosts the Cyprus Handicrafts and Cultural Center. The St. Sophia Cathedral (the Selimiye Mosque), constructed during the Lusignan Period between 1208 and 1326, is one of the most important examples of Gothic architecture.

Other locations worth seeing within the city walls of Nicosia are; the Kumarcilar Khan, Bedestan (the Church of St. Nicholas), the Lapidary Museum. Arabahmet Mosque, the Bandabuliya (the Covered Bazaar) which opened in 1932 and the Arasta Market, the Armenian Church (St. Mary of Tartosa), the Great Hammam (Turkish Bath), the building of the British Colonial period, the Smanbahce Houses, the Arap Ahmet district, the Cumbali Houses, the Library of Sultan Mahmut II, St. Catherine's Church (Haydarpasha Mosque), the Church of St. Lucas, Sacakli Ev (the Eaved House), the Lusignan House, and the 19th century Dervis Pasa Mansion, home of an exhibition of ethnographic works of the recent past.