South of the Kyrenia Gate, you
will find the Mevlana Museum, a fine 16th century rectangular
building on which rest six domes. It was constructed by a
general named Arap Ahmet Paşa following the Ottoman conquest of
the island. Arap Ahmet Pasa, together with the commander of the
conquering army, Lala Mustafa Paşa, was a member of the Mevlevi
order (order of dervishes founded by Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi,
also called "whirling dervishes").
Ceremonial dances took place inside the building until 1930,
which was then used as a Mevlevi Lodge until its last head of
the order died in 1954. Inside the building, there are also
tombs and a semahane (dervish meeting-house for religious music
and whirling where the dance-floor is still preserved).
Sixteen Mevlevi sheiks are buried in the six tombs in the
building which is today also used as an ethnographic museum
containing Cypriot costumes, cooking utensils and handwritten
court records dating back to 1950.
Iskele / Karpaz