Büyük Han

This traditional inn built in 1572 by Muzaffer Pasha, the first Ottoman governor in Cyprus is a very beautiful stone building, with two floors, built around a courtyard. Of the 67 rooms, used the upstairs originally as accommodation for travelers. These are independent and have individual fireplaces with octagonal chimneys.

The rooms on the ground floor was used as stores, warehouses and offices. Stall for horses, mules, donkeys, camels were on the outside of the building. The inner courtyard is an octagonal mosque (masjid) used for prayers, with a fountain below. Unusually, the inn has two entrances, the main entrance on Asmaaltı Street (to the east), and an entrance to the west.

Since the beginning of the old colonial days, the British used the inn as the Nicosia central prison until 1895. It became a home for poor families until 1963, when a part failed restoration attempts were carried out. Later, in 1995, began a massive restoration project, which was completed in 2003 and the inn became one of the greatest contributions to the social and cultural life in Nicosia.

Today, the “Great Inn”, which also is used as an information center, a home for many small antique/craft shops and art galleries, where visitors can find all types of traditional Cypriot souvenirs and handicrafts. Small-scale performances and cultural activities going on, besides it an authentic Turkish Cypriot cafe, a restaurant where fresh local cuisine is served, and a wine bar where self-produced wines served with live music.