Bedesten (Covered Marked), Nicosia

Bedesten (Covered Marked), Nicosia

Beside the Selimiye Mosque stands the Covered Market. It is over a thousand years old. It had been a church in the sixth century. It was enlarged and rebuilt between the 12th and 16th centuries and dedicated to Saint Nicholas. When the Ottomans arrived in 1570, it was converted to a covered market dedicated to fabrics and textiles.

Fragments of a Byzantine basilica may be found inside the building. These pieces have been taken to mark the site of the first cathedral of Saint Sophia. Under Lusignan rule the Covered Market served as an Orthodox church. The Byzantine apse is still there. In the Venetian period the Covered Market was dedicated to Mary, Our lady of the Way.

The Venetians built the north facade with coats of arms above the main entrance. The dome and the central apse replaced the Byzantine originals. In 1573, after the Ottoman conquest of the island, the building became a covered textile market. In time it was also used as a food market. In the 19th century it saw use as a depot for flour.

By the 1930s the building fell into disuse. By 2004 a renovation project financed by the European Union and the city administration was undertaken. The walls were cleaned and the vaults reinforced using traditional methods.

In 2009 the building was restored and commenced use as a cultural center. It is a venue for Sufi dances and the Nicosia Walled City Jazz Festival.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Nicosia. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Bedesten (Covered Marked) on Map

Sight Name: Bedesten (Covered Marked)
Sight Location: Nicosia, Cyprus (See walking tours in Nicosia)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Nicosia, Cyprus

Create Your Own Walk in Nicosia

Create Your Own Walk in Nicosia

Creating your own self-guided walk in Nicosia is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Nicosia Shopping Tour

Nicosia Shopping Tour

Nicosia, being the capital of such an exotic country as Cyprus, couldn't be a better shopping spot for tourists. Offering a traditional Turkish market, folk art, crafts and fashionable shops and boutiques, Nicosia has something for everyone. Take this self-guided tour to discover the best of Nicosia shopping.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Greek Old Town Walking Tour

Greek Old Town Walking Tour

Nicosia is Cyprus’s capital and its largest city. It is Europe’s last divided capital, with Turkish Cypriots living on the north side and Greek Cypriots living on the south side.

Nicosia has been continuously occupied for over 4,500 years and has been Cyprus's capital for over 1,000 years. It has a turbulent political history, and the Franks, Venetians, Ottomans, and British have...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Turkish Old Town Walking Tour

Turkish Old Town Walking Tour

Nicosia wasn't always Nicosia. It was originally called Leukosia. In Greek mythology Leukosia was a siren, a daughter of Achelous, a river god, and Melpomene, Muse of Tragedy. They had several daughters, Leukosia was one.

Others say the first settlers were Achaean veterans of the Trojan War. They appeared on the plain of Mesaoria by the river Pedieos in 2,500 BC. They formed the city...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles