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John Pettitt holding the “Ryder Cup” 1985

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Bellapais Monastery

THE BELLAPAIS MONASTERY

The monastery, one of the unparalleled samples of Gothic Art, is situated on the flanks of the Five-finger (Kyrenia) Mountains. Its name today derives from the French "Abbaye de la paix", which means "The Peace Monastery". The first settlers of the monastery are the priests of the Augustinian order who had migrated from Jerusalem. The first monastery building was constructed between 1198-1205. Most sections of the building which can be seen today was built by the French King Hugh III between 1267-1284. The pavilions around the courtyard and the refectory were constructed during the reign of King Hugh IV (1324-1359). After Cyprus was conquered by the Ottomans, the monastery was given to the Greek Orthodox Church. The church next to the courtyard is the part which is in the best condition. The Italian frescoes on the front walls were made in the 15th century. The two marble tombs in the courtyard were used as washbasins by the priests for some time. On the door behind the tombs the insignia of the Jerusalem, Lusignan, and Cyprus Kingdoms are fixed. The refectory of the monastery is also an example of unequalled Gothic Art. The rooms to the east of the courtyard in the middle, belonged to the priests. The column in the middle of the council chamber is thought to have belonged to the early Byzantine Church. The dormitories of the priests and the chamber of accounts are on the upper floor.

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The Bellapais Monastery

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Arap Ahmet Mosque

THE ARAP AHMET MOSQUE

The most notable of the mosques built by the Turks in Nicosia is the Arap Ahmet Mosque. The mosque, like many others, was constructed on the site of an old Latin church. Among the marble floor tiles of the mosque are around 25 tombstones with epitaths and drawings. The mosque was named after one of the generals of the Turkish army during the conquest of the island. It is a good example of classical Turkish mosque architecture. It has an arched terrace and a dome six metres in diameter. The garden with graves belonging to Turks have been preserved in good condition. It is a special corner of Nicosia with its fountain, cypress trees and graves. Among the graves is the grave of Kamil Pasha, born in 1832 in Nicosia, who rose to the rank of Grand Vizier in the Ottoman Empire 4 times. Kamil Pasha died in Nicosia in 1913 and was buried in the courtyard of the mosque. In 1927, Sir Ronald Storss, the governor of Cyprus between 1926-1931, had a tomb made for Kamil Pasha with a panel in Turkish and English placed on it.

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