Mevlevi Tekke Museum

Top choice museum

in North Nicosia (Lefkoşa)

This 17th-century former tekke (dervish house) was once Cyprus' central meeting place for the island's followers of the Mevlevi Order. Made famous by the whirling dervishes, the Mevlevis are a Sufi (the mystical branch of Islam) sect that began in Konya (Turkey) during the 13th century under the spiritual leadership of mystic, poet and theologian Mevlana Rumi. Inside, the rooms contain exhibits on dervish life as well as the tombs of the island's 16 sheiks of the Mevlevi Order.

Today, only the semahane (room where the dervishes performed their whirling prayer ritual), the kitchen and the tomb room survive of what was once a much larger structure. The adjoining courtyard is home to a collection of Muslim tombstones.