Yenicami Mosque in Nicosia, North Cyprus.
North Cyprus
North Cyprus > North Cyprus Guide > Nicosia > Sights > Yenicami Mosque
St George Greeks Church
St George Greeks Church
photo by: Yeoman Paris
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Yenicami Mosque

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The name "Yeni Cami" means new mosque, although looking at the remains today, it looks less than new! The Yeni Cami lies just a short stroll along Kirizade Sok from Selimye Meydina, a nice walk if you have time to spare in North Nicosia on your North Cyprus holiday.

From Church to Mosque: A Familiar Story in North Nicosia

The Yenicami mosque was originally a 14th century church, converted by the Ottomans as so many churches were after they came to power in 1571. However, only a minaret staircase and part of an arch remains of the original mosque, because of a dream about buried treasure.

The Treasure of Yenicami Mosque, North Nicosia

In the 18th century, a Turkish governor of Cyprus tore down the mosque in a search for hidden treasure, which he had seen in a dream. The shocked local people complained to the sultan, who promptly executed the governor and ordered a new mosque to be built. The treasure-crazed governor lies in the tomb next to the replacement mosque, which was probably built with his own money confiscated by the sultan after his death. There are also two other dome-roofed tombs across the street.

A new "temporary" mosque was put up next to the original site (hence the name "new mosque") and that mosque is the one that still exists today.

The remains from the original church sit in the middle of a schoolyard, which presumably the kids enjoy much better than a dull climbing frame.