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Selimiye Mosque, Nicosia

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#3 of 28 in Sightseeing in Nicosia
Landmark Tourist Spot
Selimiye Mosque is located in Nicosia. Plan your visit to Selimiye Mosque and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Nicosia vacation builder.
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13 days in Cyprus BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, romantic, beaches, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, romantic, beaches, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 5 days in Nicosia BY A USER FROM CYPRUS August, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Cyprus BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Cyprus BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, culture, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Ayia Napa & Nicosia BY A USER FROM CAMEROON September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Cyprus BY A USER FROM LEBANON August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 12 days in Cyprus BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Cyprus BY A USER FROM KUWAIT July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Cyprus BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Cyprus BY A USER FROM GREECE July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Nicosia BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Cyprus BY A USER FROM GREECE July, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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Where to stay in Nicosia

Despite being the country's capital, Nicosia is not as geared toward tourists as the resorts on Cyprus' sunny coast. Hotels tend to be geared toward business travelers but provide a comfortable stay. Renting a vacation apartment may be preferable option for many, as they enable you to live more like locals. The greater Nicosia area spreads far and wide, so stay near the old city to access the most popular attractions, bars, and restaurants on foot. For an economical option, look for lodging on the north side of the city.
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4.5
  • Selimiye Camii mosque (Saint Sophia Cathedral) Pros: -Free entry -Friendly staff -Cameras allowed -Well-preserved interior Cons: -None Notes: -Remove footwear before entering. Wear suitable clothing -...  more »
  • Very spritual and tranqil place. Needs some renovations but well worth a visit to appreciate the historyof Lefkosa.  more »
  • It really takes your breath away. When enterring this place you feel right away the holy and nagical energy created. It is impressing what the Templiers could do in early 11th century. A masterpiece a...  more »
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  • A must see. You get a very surreal understanding of the cultural clashes just by stepping into the mosque. It's an active place of worship so please be respectful and follow the posted rules.
  • It is really a pity. Absolutely every man I met in this city and all over cyprus was nice and respectful and I love the people here and surely will come back in future. So do not get this wrong, but I recommend every woman not to visit this cathedral UNLESS you already wear a long skirt/jeans and a headscarf. The old man at the entrance gave me a skirt and I thought he wanted to help me, but he pulled up my skirt so he could see my bottom, which was not necessary and as if this was not enough he put the headscarf into my dress and by doing this he touched my breast inside my bra. I felt extremely uncomrtable and left. I am still shocked.
  • The Selimiye mosque, originally the Roman Catholic cathedral of Ayia Sofia, is the oldest, and one of the finest examples of Gothic art in Cyprus, the work of the French masons who accompanied the Crusades. The monumental main door and the carved stone window above it are of particular interest. Construction began in 1209 during the reign of the Lusignan king Henry I, and lasted 150 years. There is evidence that it was built over the ruins of a much earlier Byzantine church called Hagia Sophia. It was consecrated in 1326 while still incomplete, and the blunt-roofed bell towers were never finished. Within its portals, Lusignan princes were crowned kings of Cyprus before proceeding to Famagusta for a second, essentially honorary, coronation as king of Jerusalem. When the Ottomans took the city in 1570, they destroyed the interior fittings, chopping up the pulpit and pews for firewood, and using the tombstones for flooring. Unfortunately, the more interesting tombstones are not usually visible as the floor is now covered with a large carpet. A pair of fifty metre high minarets were added to the incomplete bell towers, and an ablutions courtyard fountain with trefoil arched niches was constructed. As a mosque, the church was renamed the Hagia Sophia Mosque, a name which it retained till 1954 when it was renamed the Selimiye Mosque.
  • Or St. Sofia, the building is still grand, and is still worth a visit, but do not go inside, that is disappointing, the interior has been ruined in the convertion to mosque.
  • If it wasn't for the two minaret towers, you'd think you are about to enter a European cathedral. Yet there are clear indications of the true nature of this building: you must take your shoes off before entering, ladies must wear a head scarf etc. The building is beautiful both outside and inside, and a visit is highly recommended.