It’s a landmark that has stood for thousands of years and which is a site you may well have missed whilst negotiating your way around the city, such is its unassuming location. The Mevlevi Tekke Museum is a place of contemplation for many, and it was used for just that purpose in its past form by the Mevlevi religious order in Cyprus.
Recently when thinking about going for a day out, and then finding that it was the afternoon before we actually committed to doing something, a friend suggested we take a trip to the Lambousa tombs and the surrounding areas, which are still very much intact and an interesting site to spend some time exploring.
Another major site to see in North Cyprus is the ruin of Vouni which is closely linked to the nearby ruins of Soli on the west coast of the island. Yes, there are many ruins in North Cyprus – which is why, for those of us who love history in any shape or form, it’s a great place to visit!
You may be best advised to visit the two sites on the same day, as Vouni’s sole reason for being built in the first place was to spy on the daily goings on in the city of Soli. Its location is actually one of its main features, sitting atop a lone plateau with a sheer 250 metre drop to the sea with nothing else around it, leaving you wondering about the amount of time and effort it must have taken to build it in such a remote but commanding place! [Read more...]
When visiting or indeed living in Northern Cyprus, there is so much to see in the way of historical sites, and there are some sites which are an absolute must see. In this article we will detail the delights of Soli, a fascinating site in terms of world history.
Soli is located to the far west of North Cyprus beyond Güzelyurt, it’s just past the village of Gemikonağı along the coastal road. There is a sign for Soli just after Gemikonağı that indicates that you should turn left, but for some reason the sign’s not particularly big so look out for it carefully as people have been known to completely miss it! From the turning follow the road up and you will come to the site located on the lowland slopes where there is ample parking and a ticket office, (cost of a ticket at time of writing is 7ytl), where you will be given literature about the site. [Read more...]
Visitors to Northern Cyprus are spoilt for choice when it comes to ‘places to see,’ and whilst you might feel that there is not enough in one place you can always take a day to explore places, fit in some shopping, have some lunch at one of the many restaurants around, and take in the sights in one area.
Perhaps you might like to see some of the history of a town or city such as Lefkoşa or Kyrenia, and there are several museums that can occupy you for hours on end and all within walking distance of each other in either location for example. The area of Famagusta is a real treat for those who love a day out spent exploring ancient ruins too, you must visit the mystical Othello’s Tower.
In central Kyrenia there are many ways in which to spend a day, and you would be surprised how quickly the time goes! It’s a great place to even just spend time sitting in the harbour, people watching, having a drink and some lunch in one of the many restaurants, taking in some of the sights and sounds, and perhaps popping into the odd shop along the way!
Obviously there are the glaringly obvious places of interest to absorb you, such as the magnificent Kyrenia Castle and the Shipwreck Museum housed within it, the stunning St. Hilarion castle as well as other exhibits housed in centuries old buildings, and you can find out more about these in our articles on museums and castles. Also, just taking a walk behind the harbour will introduce you to some interesting and restored houses, as well as the Paşah mosque, all set in a myriad of cobbled and narrow streets which you can get quite lost in! [Read more...]
Going east from Kyrenia, there are many places to stop off and explore, some easy to find whilst some others not so easy! The further east you travel from Kyrenia you come across many ancient and historically fascinating places that remain in good condition and make North Cyprus a beautiful place for all things ancient and historic!
Starting in Ozanköy you can see the 17th century Kazaphana Mosque, a well kept example of Ottoman architecture, with the two graves of the architect and donator to the mosque. There is also the Panayia Tou Potmau church built around the 15th century, although sadly many of the frescoes inside have now deteriorated. [Read more...]
Going west from Kyrenia, there are many places to stop off and explore – and you may be surprised to learn that there are many more than you will usually find in most guidebooks. The further west you travel from Kyrenia you come across many fascinating and historical places that remain a proud testament to an island rich in history.
Starting in Karaoğlanoğlu (pronounced Kara-o-lan-o-loo) is the ‘Şehitleği’ (martyrs’ monument) in a well-kept garden on the coastal side of the main road. This is the resting place of 71 men who died during the intervention of 1974. The Peace and Freedom museum is also located here, featuring tanks and other military vehicles and an indoor exhibit reporting on the intervention of the Turkish military. Further along the main road is the Peace and Freedom monument, a plain concrete structure rising into the air which marks the 1974 landing place. [Read more...]
If you are visiting the city of Lefkoşa whilst on your travels in North Cyprus, or just fancy spending some time looking around whilst you may have business to attend to, it’s well worth taking time to explore the sights, of which there are plenty.
Beside the abundance of museums covered in our separate article, there are some great examples of period architecture, some of which have been restored in recent years and some which are still partially intact, enabling you to at least get a feel for the history of this ancient city. Lefkoşa is believed to have begun as Ledroi in around 280 BC, and was further developed during the Byzantine era and further still by the various occupiers of the subsequent centuries, and has always been a place of importance. [Read more...]
Once one of the world’s richest cities, Famagusta is an oasis of history, and you would be wise to either make a weekend of it, or visit several times to give yourself enough time to explore this wondrous and historical gem.
During the Lusignan period from 1192-1489, Famagusta became a very prosperous place with many residing academics, meaning that plenty of money flowed to this part of the world, and subsequently the homes and buildings were opulent and plentiful too. Today you can see ruins, museums, churches, mosques, basilicas and much more. We will list a few of the major sights and places of interests to get you going, but there is certainly more to be seen! [Read more...]