Mevlevi Tekke (Whirling Dervishes Museum), Nicosia

Mevlevi Tekke (Whirling Dervishes Museum), Nicosia

Here is a 17th century Tekke, or Dervish house, now a museum. It was a center for followers of the Mevlevi Order. The Mevlevi were a branch of Sufi (mystical) Islam. They are better known as "whirling" dervishes.

Their spinning dances could produce a trance-like meditative state of serenity and peace. The dervishes would move to the melody of a reed flute, a lute and a drum. Inside the museum are figures of whirling dervishes accompanied by a trio in the gallery. There are musical instruments, costumes and Turkish artifacts.

The Mevlevi sect was founded in Konya, Turkey in the 13th century by the mystic poet Mevlana Rumi. It is believed that the tekke of Nicosia was built in 1593 by Arab Ahmed Pasha on his own land. The compound was later enlarged by land donated by Lady Emine Hatun. By 1607 the tekke was demolished and rebuilt by Ferhad Pasha.

The building is an Ottoman classic in modern Nicosia. The structures extant today are the semehana, where the whirling seme dance rituals are held, the tomb, a few rooms and a yard. The tekke of 1607 had rooms for dervishes, guest rooms, a kitchen and a garden. There is a mausoleum with sarcophagi of spiritual leaders including Selim Dede.

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Mevlevi Tekke (Whirling Dervishes Museum) on Map

Sight Name: Mevlevi Tekke (Whirling Dervishes Museum)
Sight Location: Nicosia, Cyprus (See walking tours in Nicosia)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Nicosia, Cyprus

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Nicosia Shopping Tour

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