The House of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios / Ethnological Museum
Inside the Venetian Walls, in the old city of Nicosia, is located the manor of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios that is housing today the Cyprus Ethnological Museum.
The Museum has opened to the public in the late 20th century, but the history of the manor has its roots back to the late 18th century. The manor was the residence of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios, who held the title of Dragoman (interpreter) for around 30 years, a function that acquired a considerable political influence at the time, since it was the official liaison between the population and the Ottoman government.
The mansion is a great example of the Ottoman period’s architecture and is one of the few houses of that era that have been lived and maintained continuously since its construction. It is a stone-built two-story building consisting of three parts that surround the main courtyard. A characteristic element of the monument's architecture are the pointed arches that encircle the interior courtyard. On the ground floor, it is also noteworthy the presence of a traditional Turkish spa (hamam), comprising of three rooms.
More about the story of its residents, their lifestyle and extensively the life of the city can be discovered by exploring the interior of the house. Distinguished is the formal hall, that functioned as a reception area for the guests and nowadays is still preserving much of its original charm. It has an exceptional series of wooden wall paneling with intricately decorated and gilded ceiling. A historical collection of various exhibits that have been amassed during the Ottoman and British eras is displayed in a large hall, while another room houses the family’s religious relics. In the east wing of the mansion is also exhibited an interesting collection of furniture.
This fascinating site transports visitors back to the 18th century’s Nicosia, with its rich history, authentic period architecture and spectacular collections.
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