Selimiye Mosque in Nicosia - Cyprus
Selimiye Mosque (Turkish: Selimiye Camii), also known as Agia Sofia Cathedral (Greek: Καθεδρικός Αγίας Σοφίας), formerly Cathédrale Sainte Sophie, is a Mosque located in the Turkish-controlled northern part of the walled city of Nicosia. It is the main mosque of the city.
The Selimiye Mosque is housed in the largest and oldest surviving gothic church in Cyprus (interior dimensions: 66 X 21 m) possibly constructed on the site of an earlier Byzantine church. The building belongs to the pure Gothic style of the beginning of the 12th century. Due to the building’s large scale, lack of money and various historical events it took 150 years for the cathedral to be built and still, it was never completed since the southwest tower and the portico’s upper floor were not constructed.
With Nicosia's occupation by the Ottomans (1570), the cathedral of Agia Sofia was turned into a mosque and two minarets were added onto the building’s west part. The cathedral’s rich sculptural decoration was destroyed and so were the frescoes, the sculptures and the stained glass decoration (vitraux) depicting scenes from the Old and New Testament. Funerary tombstones of various Lusignan kings and princes were also destroyed.
In August 1954 the monument was renamed the Selimye mosque in honor of sultan Selim II (1566 – 1574) who ruled at the time of Cyprus’ conquest by the Ottomans.;
Map for Selimiye Mosque
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