A rich old town surrounded by massive walls with Otel Castle
The old town of Famagusta will appeal to almost everyone with its architecture, monuments and, above all, the atmosphere. The whole city is surrounded by massive medieval walls, inside there is a huge cathedral converted into a mosque and above the port rises the famous Othel Castle.
St. Nicholas Cathedral is now a mosque
The beautiful Gothic cathedral was built in the early 14th century by French architects, who were modeled on the Reims Cathedral. In this cathedral, Cypriot kings were crowned kings of Jerusalem in the 13th and 14th centuries (but the kingdom existed only on paper). After the Ottomans conquered Famagusta, it was transformed into the mosque of the conqueror Lala Mustafa Pasha in 1571. This huge mosque is rightly one of the dominants of the whole of Northern Cyprus.
The interior of the mosque
The mosque is open to the public. The visitor can see how the interior of the originally magnificent Gothic cathedrals has been transformed. There are carpets on the floor, a mihrab in the wall at the side and a raised minbar next to it.
Tomb and madrasa
On the main square next to the mosque / cathedral is the tomb of the Damascus Mufti and the well-preserved madrasa (Islamic religious school).
Massive city walls
The whole old town is surrounded by massive walls with moats and bastions. It is the best preserved Venetian walls in the Mediterranean. It measures a circumference of 3.5 km.
Conquering the city
Thanks to the massive fortifications, Famagusta resisted the siege of Muslim troops from September 1570 for almost a year. 8,500 men defended 200,000 attackers. After the defenders killed more than 50,000, they ran out of supplies. They therefore offered to surrender if they were allowed to leave Crete freely. Grand Vizier Lala Mustafa Pasha agreed. As soon as he was allowed to enter the city, he killed all the Christians and demolished the churches. Thus, Cyprus definitely came under Islamic rule for several centuries.
Flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
The flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, along with the flag of Turkey, has been flying proudly over the city since its occupation in 1974.
On the coast of Famagusta, a beautifully restored fortress, called the Othello Citadel, rises above the harbor. This place is considered the scene of Shakespeare's tragedy, in which the jealous Othello killed his wife Desdemona
Church of St. Peter and Paul
The ruined Church of St. Peter Paul is transformed into the Sinan Pasha Mosque and with the help of funds from abroad it is repaired
Inside the walls is the old town with alleys, shops, mosques and ruined churches.
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After the partition of Cyprus, tourism in the north controlled by Turkey almost disappeared. Although it has started to develop… continue reading
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