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Canbulat Tomb and Museum

Famagusta, North Cyprus

Canbulat tomb, Famagusta, North Cyprus
Canbulat's Tomb

In the southeast corner of the Famagusta walls is the Canbulat Bastion. (The Venetians called it the Arsenal) and is named after Canbulat (sometimes spelt Djanboulat) who was the Bey (provincial governor) of Kilis in Turkey.

When the decision was taken to conquer Cyprus, Canbulat joined the invading forces. Because he played a key role in the siege of Nicosia, he was promoted to become the commander of the right wing of the Ottoman army to the south of the walled city of Famagusta. It was from here that the Ottomans bombarded the town, and why most damage to the taller buildings within the walls is on the southeast side.

Initially, the Ottomans tried to dig under the walls, but the Venetians blasted the tunnels, causing their collapse. It is also said that the Venetians placed sharp blades on a turning wheel at the entrance to the bastion to ensure that any attack there would lead the attacker to be cut to pieces.

The Canbulat Museum, Famagusta, North cyprus
The Canbulat Museum

Legend has it, that in order to stop the wheel and allow the Ottomans through the castle entrance, Canbulat rode his horse into the wheel. During this event, Canbulat's head was cut off, but undaunted, he picked his head up, mounted his horse, and continued to fight for the next three days with his head under his arm. This motivated the Ottomans to continue the fight and take the castle. Historians believe that what actually went in to the rotating wheel and stopped it, were simply, bales of wool. The date of his actual death is unknown, but there is documentary evidence that he was still alive in March 1572

Canbulat's tomb was placed in the passageway of the bastion, the name of which was changed from Arsenal to Canbulat in his honour. Supposedly a fig tree grew up alongside his tomb, the fruits of which promoted fertility in any woman who ate them. As a place of pilgrimage for Turks, this tomb ranks second in Cyprus only to the shrine of Hala Sultan Tekke at Larnaca.

The bastion containing his tomb was opened as a museum in 1968, and has recently been refurbished, re-opening in 2008. In the new museum, as well as the tomb of Canbulat, you will find items relating to the Ottoman times in Cyprus.

See the location on Google maps.

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