St. Nicholas Cathedral (Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque)


Built between 1298 and 1312 during the Lusignan period, it is one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in the entire Mediterranean world. The Lusignan kings first lived in Nicosia in St. The King of Cyprus in the St. Sophia Cathedral, and then the St. Sophia Cathedral in Famagusta. They were crowned King of Jerusalem in St. Nicholas Cathedral.

These ceremonies were held until it was converted into a mosque in 1571. The architecture of the cathedral’s western façade, which is the most beautiful and best preserved, was influenced by the Reims Cathedral in France. The 16th century Venetian gallery of the cathedral, which has a unique Gothic style embroidered window, is located in the courtyard and is used as a fountain today. A Venetian coat of arms can be seen above the round windows at the entrance. It is thought that the relief decorated with some animal figures comes from a temple in Salamis.

The apse of the cathedral, like most Cypriot churches, is in the Eastern style and has three compartments. The historical sycamore tree or tropical fig (Ficus Soycomorus or Minimal Deciduos) located at the entrance of the cathedral is the oldest living creature on the island of Cyprus, with a history of approximately 700 years. It is said that the tree was planted in 1298, when the construction of the cathedral began. Its trunk divides into 7 branches after 2.70 meters. The tree, which bears fruit seven times a year, casts a fascinating shade in front of the cathedral. The tree, whose roots reach East Africa, has been important in the region since the time of the ancient Egyptians due to its beautiful fruit, its ability to create a semi-covered shade for hot places, and its valuable timber for furniture making. This may be due to the fact that the fruits of the tree are called Pharaoh fruits among the public.

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