Kyrenia (Girne) and Nicosia (Lefkosa) Tour
08:30 Departure from the conference center
Professional and experienced licensed guide during the tours.
Transportation by a comfortable AC non smoking Luxurious car / Van with professional driver.
18:00 Returning to the hotel

Price: FREE

During the Tour will visit the Historical Places
Old Kyrenia Castle
St. Hilarion Castle
Bellapais Abbey
Hz Omer Tomb
Lambousa Kingdom
Nicosia (Bedesten)
Belediye Pazari (Municipal Market)
Büyük Han (Grand Inn)
City Walls
Derviş Paşa Mansion
Kumarcilar Han (Gambler’s Inn)
Lusignan House
Museum of Mevlevi Tekke
Selimiye Mosque

Note: Only, the museums entrance fee and lunch will be paid by the participants.


Historical Places İnformation

Kyrenia Castle

Kyrenia Castle has been standing since the 7th Century and many believe it was built to protect the town against raids from the Arab lands.  Throughout the centuries, Kyrenia Castle has undergone many restorations especially during the Lusignan period.  Built during an era of knights and archery the castle was designed with this in mind.  During reconstruction in 1489 the castle was remodelled to co-inside with the artillery era.  Two towers were also added but in 1570 the castle was once again under seige and taken over by the Ottomans.  Like any castle built for protection, Kyrenia castle is entered via a bridge built over a moat which was until the 1400’s filled with water. 

Inside Kyrenia castle you will find a Byzantian church and the tomb of the Ottoman Admiral, Sadik Pasha.  There are also the towers, dungeons, an arsenal, a cannon parapet, and the shipwreck museum


St. Hilarion Castle

St. Hilarion Castle was built to defent Cyprus from raiding Arabs and was named after Saint Hilarion.  In the 10th Century a church and monastery were built in this area but the first mentions of the castle were found in 1191.  Although extremely important in its time, St. Hilarion Castle later became a summer retreat for the Lusignan nobility.On visiting St. Hilarion Castle there really is so much to see, from the royal kitchen, to the church and the Lusignan gate.  There is also a courtyard and fantastic views from the Queen’s window on the second floor


Bellapais Abbey

The Bellapais Monastery is a remarkable piece of religious architecture located in the Kyrenia region of northern Cyprus, and is a wonderful place to visit if you want to combine sightseeing with some fascinating historical exploration. Located in the majestic Five Finger Mountains in Kyrenia, this monastery is a fine example of Gothic architecture, and is thought to have been started between 1198 and 1205, with more sections being added after 1267 and after 1324.


Hz Omer Tomb

The Hz.Omer Tomb is a fascinating historical place of interest that enjoys a charming location in Kyrenia, and overlooks the beautiful Cyprus coastline. The Hazreti Omer Mosque and Tomb is small, and within are the remains of Hazreti Omer, a seventh century commander, and his men. They are said to have died whilst defending the area of northern Cyprus against the Arabs. It is also said that the site where the mosque and tomb is located used to be the site of a Pagan shrine.

With the remains of seven Muslim saints within, the tombs are a fascinating historical attraction for visitors to the area, and the location of the Hz.Omer Tomb, which lies just four kilometers east of Kyrenia, makes it easy to get to. The whitewashed structures stand out quite distinctively amongst their rocky surroundings. The picturesque location of the mosque and tombs means that visitors can enjoy some wonderful views of the coastline and the Mediterranean as well as exploring the tombs themselves.

The tomb was also renovated in the 1950s, and today you will find fascinating tapestries and rugs within the tomb, as well as piles of books. Both the mosque and tomb were constructed by the Ottomans. Anyone that is interested in history and wants to delve further into the roots and origins of the area will find that this is a fascinating historical attraction that is a must for any itinerary. You will find it easy to get to the Hz.Omer Tomb and mosque, as it is all fully signposted from Kyrenia.


Lambousa Kingdom

Lambousa, which translates as ‘the shining one’ was once a prosperous area, and is thought to have been founded in the eight century BC by Phoenician traders. Parts of the area still remain today but much of it is not easily accessible due to being located within the confines of an army camp. Lambousa, located in Northern Cyprus, can be reached by walking along the Cyprus coast from Mare Monte Beach.

During the Roman era, the area became a prosperous port area for the town of Lapta, but after continual Arab raids found itself abandoned by the thirteenth century. When you visit Lambousa you will find a rich history and fascinating structures to explore, which help to provide some insight about the various eras of the area.

You will find Roman era fish tanks here, which are large rectangular pools that have been constructed by cutting into the rock. The remains of the Roman harbour wall can also be viewed by visitors, with two churches beyond that wall that can be seen but not explored, as these are within the confines of the army camp.

Early in the twentieth century a number of silver and gold objects from the Byznatine period were also discovered here, and these have become known collectively as the Lambousa Treasure. It is thought that the objects date from between 627 and 630, and may have been buried in order to protect them from raids carried out by the Arabs. However, these finds were sent off and split between various museums, including the Medieval Museum in Limassol, the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the British Museum in London.


Nicosia (Bedesten)

Constructed in the 12th century, this Byzantine church (St. Nicholas Church) was later enlarged with Gothic annexes built by the Lusignans.  The Venetians also altered the building somewhat before handing it to over the Greek Orthodox Metropolis.  Then, during the Ottoman period, this building changed hands again, serving as a depot and a market where mostly textile products were sold.  Remarkably, the masonry on its northern entrance resembles the masonry on the entrance of the St. Sophia Cathedral.


Belediye Pazari (Municipal Market)

The Municipal Market in south Nicosia is located just a few streets east of Phaneromeni Square.

In 1964, when the city was divided by the Green Line, the original market, or Bandabuliya was located in the north, and therefore inaccessible to Greek Cypriots. This unimposing 60s building was built to meet the needs of the local population. The original market can still be seen over the roof tops of the Green Line, and since the opening of the border in Ledra Street, is no longer inaccessible.

Fruit and vegetables, fresh olives, feta cheese and dried herbs are among the products sold from this market.


Büyük Han (Grand Inn)

Dating back to the 16th century, this Ottoman building situated in Asmalti Street used to serve as a 67-room inn for locals or caravans passing through the town. Following careful restoration, it now houses several galleries and handicraft shops, as well as a café/restaurant where you can enjoy traditional Turkish Cypriot food. Occasionally, it is also the setting for plays, concerts and special receptions.


City Walls

In 1567, the Venetians commissioned the Italian military engineers, Giulio Savorgnano and Franscesco Barbaro, to design new fortifications for the city of Nicosia, in order to protect the inhabitants from imminent Ottoman attack.

The new walls replaced the old-style medieval fortifications which engineers deemed inadequate to defend the city. The Venetians demolished several churches and palaces within the city as well as buildings lying outside the new walls, both for the acquisition of building materials and for a clearer field of vision for the defence of the city.

At the same time, the Pedieos River was diverted outside the city either in order to protect the residents from the flood or in order to flood the moat, which encircled the new walls.

This Venetian fortification complex has a circumference of 3 miles, and contains eleven pentagon-shaped bastions named after eleven families, pillars of the Italian aristocracy of the town, who donated funds towards the construction of the walls and the three gates, Porta San Domenico(Paphos Gate), Porta Guiliana (Famagusta Gate), and Porta del Proveditore (Kyrenia Gate).


Derviş Paşa Mansion

The owner of this two-storey 19th century mansion was Derviş Paşa, the publisher of “Zaman” – the first Turkish newspaper in Cyprus. The mansion is in the historically charming Arap Ahmet district of the city and has two entrances: on the main entrance, the year 1219 of the Muslim Calendar (1807) is visible, whilst the year 1869 is visible on the ornamented ceiling of the main room which is a later addition to the building. The mansion comprises an ‘L’ shape with a large inner courtyard, and the rooms on the ground floor open to terraced pavilions ringing the inner courtyard. A wooden staircase supported by the water reservoir in the courtyard leads to the upper floor where all the doors open onto a beautiful covered porch. Following the restoration work of1978-88, the mansion was opened as a ‘museum-house’ or ethnographic-museum and includes a main-room, a bride-room, a dining-room, and a section where many old Cypriot artefacts are exhibited.


Kumarcilar Han (Gambler’s Inn)

The Kumarcilar Han, also called the Gambler’s Inn, is just 100 yards or so north of the Buyuk Han, in Asmaalti Square, It is presently closed and  semi-derelict, waiting renovation.

Much smaller than the Buyuk Han, the Kumarcilar Han is nonetheless typical of anOttoman inner city commercial inn. It is not known exactly when the inn was built, but it is thought to be around the end of the 17th century. In the middle ages,  merchants used to group themselves together according to their trades. When travelling, merchants from the same town  or trade would favour certain hans, which would tend to assume the name of that town or trade. The Gambler’s Inn was originally known as the Violinist’s or Fiddler’s Inn. It’s not known when, or indeed why, the name changed.

The main gate is not original, being a comparatively recent repair. Inside, however, is a second monumental carved gate, which dates to before the Ottoman conquest.  This has lead experts to believe that the structure stands on a much earlier building, possibly the ruins of a monastery.

 


Lusignan House

This mansion dates from the 15th century, and is a well preserved example of  Lusignan architecture. Its Gothic arched main entrance and the Lusignan coats of arms above it are magnificent. During the Ottoman period, decorated wooden ceilings were added.

The mansion has a typical inner courtyard of the period. It is two storied, and built from cut stone. Additions during the Ottoman period were made from lath and plaster.

The upstairs rooms and wooden veranda are reached are reached from the ground floor round-stone pillared veranda by stone stairs.

 


Museum of Mevlevi Tekke

South of the Kyrenia Gate, you will find the Mevlana Museum, a fine 16th century rectangular building on which rest six domes. It was constructed by a general named Arap Ahmet Paşa following the Ottoman conquest of the island. Arap Ahmet Pasa, together with the commander of the conquering army, Lala Mustafa Paşa, was a member of the Mevlevi order (order of dervishes founded by Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi, also called “whirling dervishes”).

Ceremonial dances took place inside the building until 1930, which was then used as a Mevlevi Lodge until its last head of the order died in 1954. Inside the building, there are also tombs and a semahane (dervish meeting-house for religious music and whirling where the “dance-floor” is still preserved). Sixteen Mevlevi sheiks are buried in the six tombs in the building – which is today also used as an ethnographic museum containing Cypriot costumes, cooking utensils and handwritten court records dating back to 1950.

 


Selimiye Mosque

The Selimiye Mosque is one of the most important mosques in North Cyprus (all the great Muslim festivals being conducted here), as well as being one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture on the island. Formerly the Cathedral of St. Sophia, the current building was constructed in the 13th century, but in 1976, it was discovered to have been built over the ruins of an even earlier building. Many Lusignan nobles and kings are buried under the mosque and the carved windows are a fine example of the beauty of Gothic art. Fortunately, the building has defied several powerful earthquakes over the centuries due to its very large and strong flying buttresses. Then, during the Ottomans period, minarets were built over the two partial belfries on either side of the entrance and its walls whitewashed to give the strikingly airy and spacious feel inside the building today.


Akkule Mosque

The Akkule Mosque made from hewn stone, is situated between the old and new doors to the city walls, at the Land Gate of the original Arch of (Ravelin – Akkule) in Famagusta. In the past an Ottoman fountain was situated north-east of the mosque. The typical Ottoman building made of hewn stone has fortified Venetian walls facing south – east and south – west and was built in 1618/19. Crooked and inclined living areas came about due to the planning and building of the fortified Venetian walls. There are windows on the north-east and north-west outer walls with their upper and lower parts plastered with plaster of paris. The lower rectangular windows have frontlet with pointed stone arches the upper windows which are smaller in size also have pointed arches. The inside of the plaster of paris windows are decorated with raised diamond shapes, and have double wooden wings. There is an original stone chancel used to empty the water from the outer side of the ceiling. There is a compressed, arched, double winged entrance door at the north-western wall of the mosque. The wooden wings of the door also have the raised diamond decoration of the inside windows’ wings. Above the door there is a marble panel with a verse of the Koran dated 1618-19. There is an arch holding the flat roof of the mosque which stretches from east to west. On the south-eastern wall of the mosque, there is a downward hanging riche upon which sitting appears. The original filing on the floor of the mosque was replaced during restoration with diamond shaped mosque.

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More than 231 abstracts were submitted by the authors from 27 different countries until now. You should submit Abstracts or Full Paper until April 20, 2017. Hoping to hear from you soon, and meet you in Kyrenia, North Cyprus, May 04 – 06, 2017.
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