This enigmatic 14th-century church has traditionally been identified as a Latin church dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul. At one point, Syriac inscriptions on the interior suggested otherwise, as did the name of the wealthy Syrian merchant thought to have single-handedly donated the funds necessary for its construction: Nostrano being quite possibly a poorly transcribed version of Nestorano or 'the Nestorian'. A further hypothesis suggested that this was the church of the Dominican convent, which is well documented in medieval sources as having been located adjacent to the royal palace.
However, a recent re-evaluation has shown that in addition to the location of the church, other attributes – such as the liturgical layout, the iconography of the wall paintings, the heraldry that is found emblazoned on vaults and stonework, and the many altars that are found in the three apses and along the aisles – indicate that this church was originally related to the royal palace, and that it was most certainly destined for the Latin clergy.
The building is one of the largest of the regional Gothic-style churches of Famagusta, and dates with a high degree of certainty to the 1360s. It resembles the Greek cathedral in plan and design, though with less vertical emphasis, and with a north entrance which appears somewhat out of step with the rest of the building: it possesses some absolutely splendid Gothic stonework details, originating from another, earlier site. Note for example, the upside-down bat eating grapes that has been incorporated into the capital frieze of the present north portal of the nave.
It appears as if this church was already out of use during Venetian times, which may have contributed to its fine state of preservation – spared from looting and destruction by the conquering Ottoman militia; for it was the second church after the cathedral to be taken over, becoming the Sinan Pasha Mosque in 1572. In British and modern times it has been used as a storage depot. The east end enclosure wall is contemporary with the building. Note the coat of arms incorporated into the upper section of its north corner.