It was originally the Royal Palace of
the Lusignans, built in the 13th century, just
opposite the St. Nicholas
Cathedral (now Lala Mustafa Pasha
It was in this palace that the Kings and
Queens of Cyprus were crowned until the reign of' Peter II in 1369. As it was ruined by an earthquake little now remains of this palace of the
that remains is the shell of the western portion of it, a large ''L'' shaped building of
the early sixteenth century and its facade, a magnificent piece of architecture consisting
of three arches supported by four grand columns brought from Salamis. Over the central
arch stands the coat-of-arms of Giovanni Renier, Captain of Cyprus in 1552.
at Concert in the Namik Kemal Square in front of the old Lusignan Royal
Beyond and inside the courtyard are
numerous cannon balls and pieces of a large granite column.
After the Ottoman conquest in 1571, the
Palace was used as a prison. Among the prisoners was Namik Kemal, the
Shakespeare of the Turkish literature, who was held there between 1873 and 1876, having
been exiled to Cyprus after criticising the Sultan. Next to the Namik Kemal prison is a
museum about him and his works. There is a bronze bust of the poet facing the square, by
the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque.