Buyuk Han dates from 1572...one of the earliest Ottoman public buildings. It is a magnificent example of a 'han'; a travellers' innn, with accommodation and stabling.
Guest rooms were on the second floor, stabling and food/drink on the lower. Both floors are now used for craft and handowrkshops......not cheap, but well worth exploring.
In the middle of the courtyard there is a small chapel set on six columns, with washing facilities underneath.
There's a couple of cafes as well, and you may (like me) be lucky enough to see a very skilful lady rolling out incredibly thin pastry for the rather good cheese and honey (separately!) savouries the cafe serves.
One of the most elegant of these Ottoman inns is found in Cyprus, which was an important part of the Ottoman Empire. The Grand Inn bore witness to the Ottoman presence in Cyprus from the very beginning for this inn was built in 1572 by Muzaffer Pasha, the first governor, right after the island was taken over by the Ottomans in 1571. Its first name was apparently Alanyalilar Inn but later, when it was compared with the nearby Kumarcilar (Gamblers) Inn, it began to be referred to as the Grand Inn, a name it has kept to this day.
The Grand Inn, which has attracted domestic and foreign tourists as a tourist site and is the pride of Lefkosha, has been used for a variety of purposes in the past, almost as if it were adapting to the multi-cultural Cypriot lifestyle. It served as the Lefkosha Central Prison from 1878-1895 during the English rule of the island.
Everyone in Lefkosha is familiar with the Grand Inn. The local people are proud to direct visitors interested in local handicrafts and souvenirs to the Grand Inn. In the Inn, one can witness a number of activities ranging from traditional Cypriot handicrafts to examples of modern art.
Also there are many souvenir shops and a restaurant there. BTW concerts held in Buyuk Han summer nights.
The Buyuk Hamam is better known as the Great Turkish Bath, and it is an historic hammam which was built on top of the ruins of a 14th century Lusignan church, the church of St George of the Latins.
It is thanks to the ottomans that the church was turned into a hammam, and it is one of the two original turkish baths of the city. When I visited (2007) the hammam was closed for restoration, as the water system had been damaged by time and was no longer functioning - but there were talks that it would soon be opening again.
Buyuk Han is an amazing architectural works of the Ottoman period. Buyuk Han means the Great Inn and originally it would hve functioned as a caravan serrail for travelers coming from (or going to) Anatolia. When you come to the Buyuk Han, you will notice how similar to a fortress it looks like from the outside - well, the British had noticed it, too - and had used it as their central prison. Today it houses some shops and a pleasant teahouse.
Buyuk Han is two floors high and has 68 vaulted rooms, located around a central courtyard. In the middle of the courtyard there's an Ottoman Mesjid with a fountain. The bottom rooms, in the past like today, originally functionned as shops, store rooms and offices. The top rooms were the bedrooms
This is a building that used to serve as a inn for locals or a resting location for caravans back in the day! It was built in 1570 by Ottomans.
After it got a face-lift (thanx to the UNOPS' Nicosia Master Plan), it now hosts several galleries, handicraft shops, and a cafe/restaurant, where you can sample traditional Turkish Cypriot food.
The only downside is its only open till 5pm except for Tuesdays and Fridays. And it's closed on Sundays. Even then most shops and galleries are closed in the evenings.
On occasion, plays, concerts and special receptions take place here.
This place (site) is a great place to visit and see.
This great inn has been reborn as an arts centre.
A wander round here shows you a great deal in the earlier life of Nicosia