Selimiye Mosque

Currently Closed
  • Address: Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Timings: 08:00 am - 11:00 am Details
  • Ticket Price: Free
  • Time Required: 00:30 Mins
  • Tags: Mosque, Religious Site, Architecture

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.

  • Remove your shoes and leave them at the entrance.

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  • Selimiye Mosque Address: Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Selimiye Mosque Timing: 08:00 am - 11:00 am
  • Selimiye Mosque Price: Free
  • Best time to visit Selimiye Mosque(preferred time): 08:00 am - 11:00 am
  • Time required to visit Selimiye Mosque: 00:30 Mins
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  • 95% of people who visit Nicosia include Selimiye Mosque in their plan

  • 82.95% of people start their Selimiye Mosque visit around 08 AM - 09 AM

  • People usually take around 30 Minutes to see Selimiye Mosque

Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday

64% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Selimiye Mosque

People normally club together The Museum Of Barbarism Or Barbarlık Muzesi and Ledra Street while planning their visit to Selimiye Mosque.

People also prefer to start their day with Selimiye Mosque.

* The facts given above are based on traveler data on TripHobo and might vary from the actual figures
  • A beautiful building and so quiet. And peaceful. Go prepared. You need something to cover up with ladies. There are clothes at the door to cover up with if not but it is a mosque and shoes must be removed at the door.

  • Nice mosque but needs more intersted.

  • This a 13th century cathedral changed into mosque. Nice and historic place. You can go inside with out shoes. The Architecture of this cathedral is Gothic. you can visit if you are in Lefkosa.

  • I hope EU supports financially the restoration of the monument before it's too late. Formerly the Latin cathedral of Cyprus. Now a Mosque.

  • The name of the cathedral derives from Ayia Sophia, meaning "Holy Wisdom" in Greek. According to Kevork K. Keshishian, the dedication of the cathedral to the Holy Wisdom is a remnant from the Byzantinecathedral, which occupied the same place.However, such a cathedral is absent from Byzantine sources and is not associated with any excavated ruins. In spite of this, there is evidence of the existence of such a cathedral; an 11th-century manuscript mentions the existence of an episcopal church dedicated to Holy Wisdom in the city. Construction and Frankish period It is not certain when the construction of the cathedral began, it may have gradually replaced its Greek predecessor or may have been built alongside it. The date cited for the laying of the foundation stone is 1209, and the Latin archbishop of Nicosiaresponsible for this is named in various sources as Thierry or Albert. There are claims of evidence indicating an earlier beginning date, and even the Knights Templar may have made some effort for the construction of a new cathedral during their rule in 1191-92. Under the early years of the reign of Archbishop Eustorge de Montaigu (reigned between 1217 and 1250), the construction is thought to have accelerated. By 1228, the church was "largely completed" under Eustorge. Although it is held in some sources that the arrival of Louis IX of France in Cyprus in 1248 for the Seventh Crusade gave a boost to the construction, there is no evidence to support this claim. By the end of the 13th century the side aisles and a large part of the middle aisle were completed. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the cathedral was damaged twice by earthquakes, in 1267 and 1303. The 1267 earthquake caused significant delay in the construction of the nave. Archbishop Giovanni del Conte, oversaw the completion of the nave and the narthex until 1319 and that of the middle aisle, the buttresses of the chevet, the façadeand a chapel/baptistery from 1319 to 1326. He also initiated the adornment of the cathedral with frescoes, sculptures, marble screens and wall paintings. In 1326, the cathedral was finally consecrated and officially inaugurated with a great celebration. During the Lusignan rule, the cathedral served as the coronation church of the Kings of Cyprus. After the Genoese conquest of Famagusta, it also became the coronation church of the Lusignan Kings of Jerusalem, and finally, the Lusignan Kings of Armenia. It also housed the Trials of the Knights Templar in 1310. Even though the cathedral was inaugurated, the building was still incomplete and in 1347 Pope Clement IV issued a papal bull for the cathedral to be completed and renovated since it had been affected by an earthquake. The bull gave a 100-day period of indulgence for those who participated in the completion of the cathedral, however, this effort did not achieve its aim. The portico and the northwest tower were constructed at this time and the three gates of the western wall were embellished with structures. Kings, prophets, apostles and bishops were depicted at the reliefs in three arches. In 1359, the Papal legate in Cyprus, Peter Thomas, assembled all Greek Orthodox bishops of Cyprus in the cathedral, locked them in and began preaching in order to convert them. The sound of shouting coming from the cathedral gathered a large crowd outside the cathedral, which soon began a riot to free the priests and burned the doors of the cathedral. The king ordered the rescue of the preacher, who would later be reprimanded, from the mob, and the freeing of the bishops. In 1373, the cathedral suffered damage during the Genoese raids on Cyprus. British rule and 20th centuryEdit In 1949, the imams stopped climbing to the minaret to read the adhan and started using loudspeakers instead. On 13 August 1954, the Mufti of Cyprus officially renamed the mosque "Selimiye Mosque", in honor of the Ottoman sultan Selim II, who headed the empire during the conquest of Cyprus.

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