Hala Sultan Tekke
Hala Sultan Tekke is located just outside the town of Larnaca. It is the place where Umm Haram was buried and it is considered to be the third most important place of worship for Muslims after Mekka and Medina. Umm Haram was the wife of Ouvadas Ibn, who was one of the generals of Moavia, the leader of the first invasion of the Arabs in Cyprus that took part in 649 AD. Umm Haram died at the area, when she fell off a mule, during this campaign in Cyprus. The grave was later turned into a mosque in order to honour Umm Haram. According to the tradition Umm Haram was an important personality as she was one of the people that was very close to the prophet Muhammad.
The tomb that is found inside the Tekke is protected by a railing and is covered with green velvet layers. There is a legend pointing that on of the stones covering the tomb is suspended in the air. The mosque was rebuilt in 1816 and in 2002 UNOPS undertook a further renovation and reconstruction of it. Some archaeologists believe that the certain tomb is not chronologically positioned in 649 A.D., but it is a monolithic tomb that belongs to the prehistoric period around 1700 - 1050 B.C. This is based on the findings that arose from the 2002 renovations as the archaeological excavations that took place at the same time revealed that the area around the mosque and the grave was inhabited since the Neolithic era.
Hala Sultan Tekke is visited by thousands of muslim pilgrims every year but also from people all over the world who visit Larnaca as it is one of the must see attractions in the area. The mosque is set in an extremely romantic place close to the Larnaca Salt Lake. Surrounding the mosque and the grave there are tall palm trees planted as well as local wild vegetation which combined with the eastern architectural style of the mosque and the mirage in the salt lake's water in winter or the white colour of salt in summer, create a romantic scenery taken from the fairytales of the Middle East. During winter time, the visit of the migratory birds, including the beautiful pink flamingos, complete the setting.
Visitors to the Hala Sultan Tekke will probably be asked to take off their shoes before entering the mosque, in order to show their respect to this holy Muslim place. The areas of the Hala Sultan Tekke are partly accessible by wheelchair users.
Opening Hours: 08:00 - 17:00 (November - March)
08:00 - 18:00 (April - May, September - October)
08:00 - 19:30 (June - August)