Selimiye Mosque, Nicosia

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About Selimiye Mosque, Nicosia

Selimiye Mosque, Nicosia - Address

Address: Nicosia, Cyprus

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Time Required: 00:30 Mins

Timings: 08:00 am - 11:00 am Details

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Mosque, Religious Site, Architecture

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Once the building was known as St. Sophia’s cathedral, but now, within the boundaries of the Turkish controlled portion of Nicosia, it’s the main mosque of the city. The building is the oldest surving Gothic church in the area, and what you see of the architecture today is only a shadow of what it used to be. There were once rich sculptural decorations, stained glass and frescoes and tombstones of Lusignian kings - all destroyed when the Ottomans took over, though they did add some slender minarets. Still, the massive flying buttresses are impressive, as are the large windows and the high naves, the Roman columns. The Islamic heritage of the building blended rather well with the Gothic part.

Selimiye Mosque Information

  • Remove your shoes and leave them at the entrance.

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Selimiye Mosque, Nicosia Reviews - Write a Review

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  • Stunning building. Out of respect for local worshipers did not attempt to go in as not suitably dressed. Please respect dress code to save embarrassment or causing offence.

  • This is used as a mosque from the years Ottomans conqured Cyprus. It is a famos masque at the time being and is known as Selimiye Mosque.

  • A must see. You get a very surreal understanding of the cultural clashes just by stepping into the mosque. It's an active place of worship so please be respectful and follow the posted rules.

  • It is really a pity. Absolutely every man I met in this city and all over cyprus was nice and respectful and I love the people here and surely will come back in future. So do not get this wrong, but I recommend every woman not to visit this cathedral UNLESS you already wear a long skirt/jeans and a headscarf. The old man at the entrance gave me a skirt and I thought he wanted to help me, but he pulled up my skirt so he could see my bottom, which was not necessary and as if this was not enough he put the headscarf into my dress and by doing this he touched my breast inside my bra. I felt extremely uncomrtable and left. I am still shocked.

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  • The Selimiye mosque, originally the Roman Catholic cathedral of Ayia Sofia, is the oldest, and one of the finest examples of Gothic art in Cyprus, the work of the French masons who accompanied the Crusades. The monumental main door and the carved stone window above it are of particular interest. Construction began in 1209 during the reign of the Lusignan king Henry I, and lasted 150 years. There is evidence that it was built over the ruins of a much earlier Byzantine church called Hagia Sophia. It was consecrated in 1326 while still incomplete, and the blunt-roofed bell towers were never finished. Within its portals, Lusignan princes were crowned kings of Cyprus before proceeding to Famagusta for a second, essentially honorary, coronation as king of Jerusalem. When the Ottomans took the city in 1570, they destroyed the interior fittings, chopping up the pulpit and pews for firewood, and using the tombstones for flooring. Unfortunately, the more interesting tombstones are not usually visible as the floor is now covered with a large carpet. A pair of fifty metre high minarets were added to the incomplete bell towers, and an ablutions courtyard fountain with trefoil arched niches was constructed. As a mosque, the church was renamed the Hagia Sophia Mosque, a name which it retained till 1954 when it was renamed the Selimiye Mosque.

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