The Lapidary Museum in Nicosia, North Cyprus.
North Cyprus
North Cyprus > North Cyprus Guide > Nicosia > Sights > The Lapidary Museum
St Barnabas Monastery From Air
St Barnabas Monastery From Air
photo by: TAK News Agency
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The Lapidary Museum

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Just next to the Selimiye Meydani is the Lapidary Museum, which is as interesting for the building’s history as for its contents! The Museum is housed in a former pilgrim’s guesthouse dating from Lusignan times, which was then used as a home for a Venetian nobleman. The Lapidary Museum was formally known as the Jeffery Museum, after the British officer in charge of antiquities in Nicosia in the early 1900s.

Moments of Time Caught in Stone in North Nicosia

The North Nicosia Lapidary Museum is packed to the ceiling with a wide range of stone artefacts, from a Lusignan sarcophagus, headstones, to coats-of-arms and gargoyles that spill out into the museum’s garden. In the garden there is also a stone Lion of St Mark, the Venetian symbol used so much on buildings. It is similar to, but not the actual lion that would have originally been on top of the Venetian column in Atatürk Square.

Probably the best item in the Lapidary Museum is a Gothic tracery window, from the Lusignan Palace that once stood alongside Ataturk Square. After years of neglect, all that remained was the stonework, and this window was removed and brought to the museum, just before the crumbling palace was demolished.  The window is in what is known as the flamboyant style, and you can still see the carved faces on either side of the window, which usually represented the ruling king and queen.

Your entrance ticket to the Library also gives you free entry to the Sultan Mahmud II Library, a nice little saving for your North Cyprus holiday sightseeing fund!