- Like many mosques in Northern Cyprus this mosque, by far the biggest in the northern part of Nicosia, began life as a Gothic cathedral. From the outside it still looks much more like a church than your typical mosque, although the two rocket-like minarets (typical Ottoman style) are a clear give-away. The flags between the two towers are there because their fluttering in the wind is clearly visible from the southern, Greek-Cypriot part of the city — a sort of (cheap) propaganda coup. But the Turk-Cypriots have a way with flags, as later pictures will show.
- The “muslimified” backside portal of the ex-cathedral. Construction of the building commenced in 1209 and lasted for a full 150 years. It was here that the Lusignan princes were crowned Kings of Cyprus (there was a second coronation held in the Famagusta cathedral, more about that later).
- This is the entry to the Bedesten, the ancient bazaar hall. Once again, the building was a church (St Nicholas of the English) before the Ottomans converted it. The whole thing, which lies immediately opposite the Selimiye Mosque, is in an advanced state of disrepair and closed to the public.
- The inside of the Selimiye Mosque: as always in converted mosques all paintings and other traces of its previous use have been covered with plaster; the whole interior was then whitewashed. But the overall effect is quite striking. And anyway, mosques are always good places to rest: cool and silent, so lots of natives spend hours on end there, talking, praying, reading, dozing off… and they don't mind tourists doing the same as long as they keep quiet.
- This is the entrance hall to the mosque and it looks very Gothic indeed. On the far side you can just spot the entrance portal of the Bedesten.
- Next are the Kyrenian Mountains.
$updated from: Selimiye Mosque.htxt Sat 18 Jan 2014 13:14:23 thomasl (By Thomas Lauer)$