Riviera Beach Bungalows, Studios & Superior Hotel Rooms, Kyrenia, North Cyprus

Lefkoşa (Nicosia) | Gazimagusa (Famagusta) | Girne (Kyrenia) | Güzelyurt| Iskele / Karpaz

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Lefkoşa (Nicosia) Region

Gambler's Inn (Kumarcilar Han)

This small building, asymmetrical in plan, of hewn stone, is on Asmaalti Square in Nicosia, to the north-east of the Buyuk Khan. This inn, too, is typical of an Ottoman inner-city commercial inn. Its exact date is uncertain but it is believed to have been built in the 17th century. It is now privately owned.

In the past the Gamblers' Inn was also known as the Himarcilar or Kemancilar (violinists' or Fiddlers' Inn) inn. It is two-storied, ranged around a courtyard garden and entered through an arched passage from Asmaalti Square. The main gate is not original and is a late repair. There is a second monumental carved gate inside the passage which is clearly Medieval and not of the Ottoman period, so one concludes that the inn stands on the foundations of a Medieval structure. The irregularly-shaped inner court is surrounded by rooms leading off arcades or galleries on both floors. Though the inn had originally approximately 52 rooms, the number at the present day is 44. On the ground level the galleries have stone floors and wooden beams, with pointed arched opening seated on square shafts. Segmental arched doors lead into the inner rooms. Each room has an embrasure window opening externally. A modern stair in the south-east of the courtyard leads to the upper storey, where the floor is marble. The prentice roof on wooden rafters is covered by ridge tiles. Unlike the lower gallery, the upper one has no arches but instead round columns on which the roof joists are seated. The rooms leading off the galleries have barrel vaults and segmental arched doorways. In some rooms there are fireplaces. Here too the floors are marble, and the outer windows are rectangular. Columns and arches on both floors of the wing to the south are not original, being the result of later repairs. Nor is the western front in an indiscriminate manner, the entrance doors from the courtyard at ground level were closed and external openings were substituted. In spite of these many alterations and the resulting losses, the inn is still a leading example of an old Turkish monument, both in scale and in architecture.

Lefkoşa (Nicosia) | Gazimagusa (Famagusta) | Girne (Kyrenia) | Güzelyurt| Iskele / Karpaz

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