Wednesday, November 23, 2011

North Cyprus - Famagusta - Lala Mustafa Paşa Mosque

Famagusta - Lala Mustafa Paşa Mosque.

Sent from North Cyprus by Leslie who's visiting.

This is from Wikipedia : The Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque originally known as the Saint Nicolas Cathedral and later as the Ayasofya (Saint Sophia) Mosque of Magusa, is the largest medieval building in Famagusta, North Cyprus. Built between 1298 and c.1400 it was consecrated as a Christian cathedral in 1328. The cathedral was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman Empire captured Famagusta in 1571 and it remains a mosque to this day.

The French Lusignan dynasty ruled as Kings of Cyprus from 1192 to 1489 and had brought with them the latest French taste in architecture, notably developments in Gothic architecture.

The cathedral was constructed from 1298 to 1312 and was consecrated in 1328. "After an unfortunate episode when the current bishop embezzled the restoration fund", Bishop Guy of Ibelin bequeathed 20,000 bezants for its construction. The Lusignans would be crowned as Kings of Cyprus in the St. Sophia Cathedral (now Selimiye Mosque) in Nicosia and then crowned as Kings of Jerusalem in the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Famagusta.

The building is constructed in Rayonnant Gothic style, quite rare outside France, though "mediated through buildings in the Rhineland". The historic tie between France and Cyprus is evidenced by its parallels to French archetypes such as the Reims Cathedral. Indeed, so strong is the resemblance, that the building has been dubbed "The Reims of Cyprus". The building has three doors, twin towers over the aisles and a flat roof, typical of Crusader architecture.

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