Hala Sultan Tekke
Larnaca, Cyprus
For the Muslim community of Cyprus, the Hala Sultan Tekke is a sacred pilgrimage site. The tekke sits to the south of the city of Larnaca on the shore of the Salt Lake, on a site with evidence of Archaic, Roman, Classical and Ottoman remains. The complex includes a mosque, a tomb widely believed to belong to Hala Sultan (also known as Ummu Haram), sister of the Prophet's foster mother, a cemetery, and living quarters for men and women.

Hala Sultan died at the site of the tekke in 647 or 649/26 or 28 AH, and a tomb was later constructed at the site. Arabic and Ottoman sources begin to mention the tomb in the latter half of the seventeenth century, and the türbe surrounding the tomb was built in 1760/1174 AH. The mosque is built in the classical Ottoman style directly in front of the rbe, and was started by Es-Seyyid Mehmet Emin Efendi, muhassil of Cyprus, and completed in November 1817/1232 AH.

The tekke is entered through a gate from the west, with an ashlar trefoil arch leading to a pointed arch of the doorway itself, with an Ottoman inscription dated 1 Rabi' u'l-Awwal 1228 (4 March 1813) and tughras of the Ottoman sultan Mahmut II. The gate leads into the tekke garden, planted with fruit trees. As one enters to the north, a guest house for men is on the left, and a guest house originally housing both men and women is to the right. To the east of the women's suite in the guest house is the mosque and the türbe. A graveyard lies to the east of the türbe, in the immediate vicinity of the mosque. An open pool is in front of the men's guesthouse, and a structure housing a fountain sits to the west of the mosque, fed by a cistern. An inscription dated 1313/1895 is believed to refer to the fountain and its housing.

The mosque is built of yellowish-gray ashlar on a square plan, each side 13 m. in length. The wood and tile portico, with three arches on the front face and one on each side, seems to be an addition to the prayer hall. The central dome sits on a drum, with semi-domes at the corners of the mosque's square. The current minaret was built adjacent to the mosque's northwest corner, and was repaired in 1959. The minaret has a square base with an octagonal transition to the circular trunk. The mihrab in the mosque's southeast wall has a muqarnas canopy, and was restored in the early 21st century. A simple wooden minbar sits to the right of mihrab, and a door to the türbe sits to the left. A wooden women's gallery extends above the mosque's principal doorway.

The türbe sits behind the qibla wall of the mosque, and is also of square plan, each side 6.5 m in length. A central dome is supported on each side by four semi-domes. A pair of small windows in each walls provide light. The tomb in the center is surrounded by rows of low arches, and the sarcophagus of Hala Sultan lies in the very center between four miniature columns. Five separate graves are found by the eastern row of arches, along with two of the tekke's shaykhs. The doorway to the  appears to have been taken from a medieval building, but an inscription above it gives the date 1174/1760.


Bağışkan, Tuncer. Ottoman, Islamic and Islamised monuments in Cyprus, 51-69. Nicosia, Cyprus: Cyprus Turkish Education Foundation, 2009.

Cyprus Civil Engineers and Architects Association (CCEAA) & Chamber of Cyprus Turkish Architects. "Tuzla Mosque." Accessed September 5, 2014. http://www.cyprustemples.com/templedetails.asp?id=71

Larnaca, Cyprus
Images & Videos
Site Contains
turbe built, enclosing tomb, 1760/1163 AH
mosque completed, 1817/1232 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Hala Sultan Tekkesi
Mosque of Umm Haram
Building Usages