Photographer's Note

‘Famagusta - Gothic Mosque in Famagusta’

The picture shows a view over the old town of Famagusta and is taken on top of its Venetian walls near the Land Gate.

Right in the center of the town the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque (Lala Mustafa Paşa Cami) arises high above the surrounding buildings.
Originally this mosque was the Saint Nicolas Cathedral, built between 1298 and 1400 (and consecrated in 1328).

After the Ottoman Empire captured Famagusta in 1571 the Saint Nicolas Cathedral was converted into a mosque and became the Aya Sofya (Saint Sophia) Mosque of of Gazi Mağusa (= Famagusta).
The name remained in use until 1954. Then the mosque was renamed after the Turkish leader who laid siege to the city in 1571and is now known as the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque.

The Gothic style of architecture resembles very well the cathedral of Reims in France.
Also St. Sophia Cathedral (now the Selimiye Mosque) in Nicosia and Bellapais Abbey in the north of Cyprus are the work of French architects.
This isn’t surprising when we know that the Kings of Cyprus from 1190 to 1489 were all of the French Lusignan dynasty who, at least in their churches, ‘Frenchified’ Cyprus.

Today the mosque/cathedral is the largest medieval building in Famagusta. Both towers can be seen from everywhere in town and they are the most important part of the skyline.

One tower is topped with a minaret.
The upper parts of the towers suffered much from several earthquakes and were also badly damaged during the bombardments of 1571. They have never been repaired.

Information from http://www.cypnet.co.uk/ncyprus/city/famagusta/lala/index.html
and from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lala_Mustafa_Pasha_Mosque

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Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5076 W: 17 N: 12162] (49014)
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