Built in the Byzantine era near the end of the 12th century the Bedestan or St. Nicolas Church is now in seriously bad condition due its destruction during Cyprus' civil war. However, through a partnership between the EU and the UNDP it is now being reconstructed.
This will be an important step in rejuevinating the downtown of the Turkish side of Nicosia and will eventually be the jewel in the crown for attracting tourists to Nicosia and Northern Cyprus.
Across the street from the cathedral you will find many shops along the street much like a bazaar. Also, you will find fresh fruits and vegetables in the municipal market. On the otherside of the church is a square where you will find a good Italian-Spanish fusion restaurant called El Sabor Latino. It is a good place to sit outside in the summertime and enjoy the mosque all lit-up at night.
This unauspcious entrance way hides a treasure behind its walls. The municipal market built in 1932 is full of sights and smells which will delight you. Basically, it is built like many indoor markets which were essentially large, unheated structures just to keep the wind and the rain off the shoppers and stall-holders. It reminds me very much of the large farmer's market in Kiev. Here is where the locals do their weekly shopping. Mostly fruits, vegetables, fresh meat, household items and some apparel items. However, for more clothing items, you will find them also along the narrow streets outside where many vendors sell reasonably priced knock-off clothing items. Unless you are hungry, the municipal market is mostly an experience to see and to feel.
The Buyuk Han or alternatively Bueyuek Khan Cultural Centre is located in the Old Town of Nicosia in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus or N. Cyprus for short.
Originally built in 1570 it is an example of Ottoman-Turkish architecture. Essentially, it is a massive stone fort built for protection against the many invaders to have swept through Kypros over the millenia.
The name Buyuk Han means The Great or Big Inn. This was its original purpose in the middle ages. However, it was also used as Lefkosia Central Prison by the British. Now it is an arts & crafts center, with a cafe in the courtyard and some museums on the upper floors.
Inside the fort in the courtyard you will find a café and restaurant, as well as shops and art & crafts along the outer walls. On the upper floors are some museum exhibitions. It is located centrally in old town Nicosia and easy walking distance from town square, Famagusta gate, St. Nicolas, the Bedestan and the municipal market. In between you will find narrow streets crammed with merchants selling clothing and other wares. You will definately feel that you are in Turkey or the middle east rather than only a few hundred meters away from Greek Cyprus.
Just walking around doing the tourist thing we saw a lot of antique stores with some really neat stuff.
I am not sure whether everything is a genuine antique and as I was not really in the mood for shopping, I did not want to stop and haggle over prices and then end up not buying anything anyway. However, next time when it is a little warmer and I have my car nearby, I will definately go back and check-out the deals.
There appeared to lots of old tools, farm implements, copper and tin pots & pans, antique mirrors and other odds & ends. The goods were generally placed along the street and in front of the shops. Inside the shops was more stuff and likely the better things.
If you like flea markets and shopping for bargains, I am sure you will find something useful here. Whether or not you can get it home with you is another story. However, happy hunting just the same.
The rooms are somewhat comfortable but some of the staff were not nice to my wife and I. We had not...more
48 A Mamantos, Kakopetria, 2810, Cyprus
I stayed at this whole 2 times but this was 13 years ago. The hotel is in the city walls of the old...more