Dervish Pasha Mansion (Ethnographical Museum) in Nicosia, North Cyprus.
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Dervish Pasha Mansion (Ethnographical Museum)


Dervish Pasha Mension
photo by: Ersin Taser
[ enlarge photo ]

The Dervis Pasha Konagi is the former home of Dervis Pasa, publisher of Cyprus’ first Turkish newspaper, Zaman. Born Tuccarbasi Haci Dervis, he was awarded the title of Pasha for the influence his paper, first published in 1891, had in Cyprus and in mainland Turkey. Ask any Turkish Cypriot about Dervis Pasha on your holiday in North Cyrpus, and they’ll probably hail him as a hero.

Step Back in Time at the Dervish Pasha Mansion, North Nicosia

Dervis’ early 19th century home, a traditional Nicosia mansion built in 1807, has now been turned into an ethnographical museum. Inside, each room is a reconstruction of how the house would have looked during the 19th century. After falling into disrepair, in 1978 the house began a programme of restoration by the Department of Antiquities, with financial help form the Republic of Turkey. After some debate as to the best use of the house, when ideas included a library or cultural centre, the Ethnography Museum was finally opened in 1988.

The L-shaped house follows the classic Ottoman plan, with a stone-arched basement and walled garden, and living quarters above. The walls are whitewashed while the woodwork is stained a traditional blue. From the elegant courtyard to the terracotta tiled roof, this is a house of substance and style.


Dervish Pasha Museum
photo by: Anonymous
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The Displays at Dervish Pasha Mansion in Northern Cyprus

You can wander through the 19th century kitchens and laundry rooms downstairs, before going upstairs to the more opulent living quarters. Here the displays include beautiful clothing, fine rugs and even a pair of high-heeled mother-of-pearl bath shoes. The embroidered bath towels remind you of the finest hotels in North Cyprus, although even they don’t provide mother-of-pearl shoes...

The displays also include traditional Turkish Cypriot embroidery displayed on the first floor veranda, including an elegant red waistcoat and fine embroidered hankerchief. The first floor rooms also contain Turkish Cypriot costume, including some richly embroidered wedding dresses and a robe worn by the last Cyprus Kadi, or Islamic law judge.

For a cooling drink, head for the teahouse in the house’s courtyard and take it easy for a while on your holiday in North Cyprus, while the kids can explore the baths, washrooms and outdoor oven that are also in the courtyard.