The first phase of the restoration of the Kumarcilar Han (Gamblers’ Inn) in Nicosia, has been completed by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. The second and final phase will start in February and the objective is to have the buildings completely restored by the end of the year.
After completion, the buildings will be used for tourism and its 36 rooms will be available to local craftsmen and traders selling local products including food, crafts and artwork. This project is being financed by Turkey and the first phase has cost TL 490,000.
This Han is close to the more famous Buyuk Han and is presently closed and semi-derelict. Like all Han’s (travellers’ inns), the entrance to this two storey building was through a gateway right into the heart of the inn. There, merchants would arrive with their camels, donkeys and horses. The livestock would be tended to and then stabled in the ground floor rooms. The merchants would retire to the first floor to eat and sleep. A large number of ancillary services were located at the Han, including food vendors and blacksmiths.
The Tourism and Culture Ministry is appealing for any historic photographs of the Han so that the restoration can follow the original building as much as possible.