The Canbulat Tomb and Museum in Famagusta, North Cyprus.
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Canbulat Tomb and Museum


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The Canbulat Tomb and Museum (Djamboulat Bastion), Famagusta, North Cyprus

The Canbulat Tower is named after one of the heroes of the Siege of Famagusta - from the Ottoman side. It also reveals just how gruesome warfare was at the time!

The Djamboulat Bastion in the siege of Famagusta, North Cyprus

As the Ottoman Turks tried to take the city of Famagusta in 1571, they faced formidable resistance from the Venetians. Despite the constant barrage of artillery fire from the Ottoman forces assembled near this tower, the besieged Venetians had managed to assemble a particularly nasty weapon. This was a vast wheel edged with knives, onto which Turks who had scaled the walls of Famagusta were hurled, decapitating them. The Ottoman commanders soon realised with dismay that the gully below this infernal machine was rapidly filling with their dead.

Canbulat, hero of the Famagusta siege in Northern Cyprus

One of these commander was Canbulat, the Bey of Kilis, who had been instrumental in the capture of Nicosia and now had responsibility for the siege at Famagusta. Taking the initiative, Canbulat deliberately rode his horse onto the blades of the machine, killing himself in the process. However, his body and that of the horse jammed the mechanism, and hence his men could breach the defenses and force Famagusta to surrender.

The Tomb of Cabulat at Famagusta, Northern Cyprus

The Canbulat Tower contains his remains, and his tomb is a place of pilgrimage for modern-day Turks in Cyprus. Women used to come to visit the tomb, over which a fig tree grew, the fruits of which promoted fertility. The Canbulat Tower also houses a small museum, with displays of guns, traditional dress, Turkish tiles and Venetian plates, contained in the massive long hall that leads to the tower itself. There is also a famous engraving of the siege by Stephani Givellino. You can get access to the roof by asking the attendant for the key, or instead climb the wall from the stone steps beside the Land Gate.