This traditional inn Büyük Han, also called The Great Inn, was built in 1572 by Muzaffer Pasha and is the first Ottoman governor in Cyprus is a very beautiful two floors stone built around a courtyard. The inn has 67 rooms where the rooms upstairs originally were used as accommodation for travelers. These are independent and have individual fireplaces with octagonal chimneys.
The rooms on the ground floor were used as stores, warehouses and offices. Stall for horses, mules, donkeys and camels were on the outside of the building. The inner courtyard is an octagonal mosque (masjid) used for prayers and with a fountain below. Unusually, the inn has two entrances, the main entrance on Asmaaltı Street (to the east), and an entrance to the west.
Since the beginning of the old colonial days, the British used the inn as the Nicosia central prison until 1895. It was a home for poor families until 1963. Later, in 1995, a massive restoration project began which was completed in 2003 and the inn has become one of the greatest contributions to the social and cultural life in Nicosia.
Today, the “Great Inn”, which also is used as an information center, is a home for many small antique and crafting shops and art galleries where visitors can find all types of traditional Cypriot souvenirs and handicrafts. Small-scale performances and cultural activities going on beside an authentic Turkish Cypriot cafe and restaurant where fresh local cuisine is served as well as a wine bar where self-produced wines served with live music.