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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 156

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152 Notes on the Ttirkish Mosque in [CH. the devotions of men, while his wife attended the women. Ajem AH Agha, the successor of Mehmed Agha, removed in 1761 the wooden barrier, and enclosed the shrine with a wall, closed by two gates of bronze, adorned with foliage worked in low relief, one at each end of the tomb. By these women can enter to pay their devotions at the shrine, and at such times men may not penetrate beyond the outer wall. Representations were made to the Sultan of the origin, the miracles and the sanctity of the tomb, and permission was readily granted to build a Mosque, and to do all that was possible to increase the dignity and sanctity of the spot. The work was completed with such grandeur and solidity as was possible in a place where the arts were so little studied, and was crowned with three domes, the largest in the middle covered the tomb. Two tall minarés or campanili were built close by, upon which the muezzins, officials like the Roman praecones, stand to announce to the faithful the hours of prayer. Dwelling rooms were also added for the convenience of devotees and pilgrims, and for the dervishes who have charge of the shrine. A running stream too was brought to the place, and a fountain with eight jets serves the Moslem with water, to which they ascribe sanctifying properties, for their ablutions. The fame of the sanctuary thus enlarged and adorned spread throughout the Ottoman Empire, and to give it still greater dignity the Sultan conferred on it his special protection, and sent a sheikh who should hold for life the office of guardian. From that time forth it has become a regular place of pilgrimage, and from every quarter Moslem bring offerings of money, silver lamps, carpets and other ornaments suitable to their worship. Lands have been assigned to it, whose revenues contribute to its further adornment, as well as to the maintenance of the dervishes who have it in their charge.

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