The Library of Sultan Mahmut II was built in 1829 by the Ottoman Governor of Cyprus, Ali Ruhi. It is located near the east entrance of Selimiye Mosque and is a fine example of classical Ottoman architecture, with its large domed room and twin-domed arcade.
The interior walls of the library room are covered a golden colored adorned poem, with which Hoca Hasan Hilmi Efendi praises Sultan Mahmut II.
The books in the library were donated by Sultan Mahmut II as well as many other well-known people of the time. At present, all the books are preserved by the Archives Office for research purposes.
Nicosia Municipal Market is an important landmark in the Walled City. It has been a market place for centuries, firstly as an open market and then covered since 1932. When it was constructed in 1932 it is said to be equivalent to the present day’s superstores.
The municipal market is located next to the geometric centre of the Walled City of Nicosia. You can find a plaque detailing this on a nearby wall. The market was built in the vicinity of two important sites, Selimiye Mosque and the hans (inns) which were once the socio-economic heart of the city. Modern restaurants, bars, cafes, souvenir shops, fresh fruit and vegetable stalls breath fresh life back into this traditional and historic centre.
Directly influenced by the Gothic architecture of France, the cathedral was built in the reign of Lusignans. Started in 1208, the construction took 118 years to complete and was finally finished in 1326, when it was opened to religious service with a ritual ceremony. The cathedral was of great importance as Lusignan kings were crowned here.
The cathedral was damaged by the attacks of Genoese in 1373, and in several earthquakes between 1491 and 1547. After the Ottoman conquest in 1571, two minarets, a mimbar (pulpit), and a mihrab were added to the building, and it was adapted as a mosque which was named ‘Aya Sofya Mosque’. In 1954, it was renamed after Sultan Selim II, the conqueror of Cyprus, as ‘Selimiye Mosque’.
Among the most important examples of Gothic sculpture surviving on the island are the frames of the three doors of the western pro pylon of the building. These are decorated with a large number of blind arches adorned with anthemia and natural motifs.