SHRINE OF KIRKLAR

KIRKLAR

N° 67
Town / Village : Tymbou / Kirklar

District : Nicosia

 

DESCRIPTION :

Until quite recently there was a tekke, belonging to a religious order known as Naksibendi, but it is now in ruins. The shrine of Kirklar, or the ‘Holy Forty’ is one of the most strange monuments still remaining in the island. Groups of forty religious men, be they saints or martyrs, frequently occur in legends of both Moslem and Christian faiths. In this instance the tekke was supposed to house the graves of martyrs, together with a sword of magical power, embedded in a stone.

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DOCUMENTS :

« …The little mosque is dated 1816. From it steps lead down into a vast cave consisting of a central nave and two side aisles, the dividing walls pierced by rounded arches. It is of the size and plan of a large church, the central nave ending in an apse, while the side aisles terminate in square chambers ; small apertures in the roof admit the light. In these side aisles are buried forty saints, each tomb covered with a green cloth, but who these forty were and from whence they came, whether they were Christian or Moslem, nobody now knows. … The shrine is equally holy to Moslem and Christian …A spear shaft is driven into the wall of the small chamber at the end of the north aisle, and whoever grasps it in full belief, wishes, and repeats the name of Allah three times, shall have his desire granted. » (Gunnis, Historic Cyprus, Nicosia , 1936, 453).

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