Sinan Pasha Mosque was built around 1360 (originally as Christian Church of Saints Peter and Paul), supposedly with a third of the profits of a single trading venture of one of Famagusta's wealthiest businessmen, Simon Nostrano. it is one of the largest of the Gothic cathedrals in Famagusta, and is similar in design to St George of the Greeks, which was built around the same time.
Because of its massive height, the church walls had to be supported by flying buttresses, but perhaps shallow foundations, perhaps earthquakes meant that a further row of buttresses had to be constructed on the southern side in the 16th century, giving the church a unique appearance. Even now, if you look along the line of the wall, you can see it bowing outwards.
It is thought that the building became disused during the Venetian period, as it escaped the attention of the Ottoman bombardment of the city in 1571. After their conquest, the Ottomans took over the church as a mosque, naming it the Sinan Pasha Mosque. They added a minaret, to the south west corner, but that broke off centuries ago, and it now reaches no further than roof level. In fact, if you look at the minaret, it still shows signs of an imminent collapse.
During the British time, the mosque was used as a potato and grain store, leading to it being known locally as the 'wheat mosque' (Bugday Cami). It was further used as a store for redundant council equipment. In 1934 it was a petrol store. By 1964 it had been converted into Famagusta's town hall and library. Records from 1968 has it as a cafe, bar and dance hall. It is currently closed pending renovation.
In the southern courtyard, underneath the second row of buttresses, you will find the grave of Yirmisekiz Celebi, who was a renowned diplomat, serving as the Ottoman ambassador to France, but died in exile in Cyprus in 1732.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.