Paphos Churches & Cathedrals

Panagia Theoskepasti

Panagia Theoskepasti. It is built on a protruding rock, close to the sea, east of Chrysopolitissa basilica and probably close to the ancient city walls. As is obvious, lying on such a conspicuous rock dominating the scenery, it could be easily discerned by invading Arabs, during their raids. However, according to a legend, the church of God-protected Holy Virgin Mary, was veiled with dark clouds and rendered invisible as soon as the Saracens approached it. When once a Saracen managed to enter the church and tried to steal the golden candle, divine power cut off his hands. The present-day church of Panagia Theoskepasti was restored on the old foundations in 1928, by preserving its Byzantine architectural style. Though without mural paintings, its wood iconostasis and its precious portable icons continue to atract people, locals and foreigners, who visit the church, particularly to pray to the miraculous silver-covered icon, believed to have been one of the seventy (icons) painted by Evangelist Luke.

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Church of Agia Kyriaki. The three-aisled church of Agia Kyriaki, built in the 11th-12th century A.D. lies in the north-eastern corner of Chrysopolitissa basilica. Originally constructed by the Latins, and later transformed into a Greek Orthodox church, particularly after the conquest of Cyprus by the Turks, it acquired a low belfry in 1906. The western longer side is in striking asymmetry with the Byzantine rhythm of the building, while the dome is unusually higher than that of most classical Byzantine churches. Though not painted, nevertheless some traces of painting indicate that the church might have been entirely covered with paintings. The interior of the church is simple, though the iconostasis is interesting with icons of St Peter and Paul, Panagia Chrysopolitissa, Our Lord, etc. The large icon of Agia Kyriaki lies on the right corner in front of the iconostasis. The church is sometimes known as the church of Chrysopolitissa. It is currently used by the Anglicans for regular services, attended by the English-speaking community of Pafos.

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Church of Agia Kyriaki

MODERN CHURCHES OF PAFOS

Agios Theodoros Cathedral. Agios Theodoros Cathedral, close to the Bishopric of Pafos, was built in 1896. In it all the official services take place, particularly on the 28th October, 25th March and 1st April. A war memorial stands outside the church. It has been erected in memory of those slaughtered by the Turks on the 9th July 1821 and those who died in 1912-13 and 1918 wars. The Bishopric of Pafos. Originally built in 1910 and recently renovated, it houses the offices of the Bishopric as well as the Byzantine Museum with its hagiographic treasures. The Bishopric is associated with the resistance movement against the junta during the coup of 15 July 1974. It is from the balcony of the Bishopric that Archbishop Makarios and first President of the Republic greeted the crowd after his escape from the Presidential Palace in Nicosia. Agios Kendeas church. Agios Kendeas church, more spacious than the Cathedral of Agios Theodoros, was built between 1923 and 1930. It lies in Agios Kendeas Str, half-way in the Makarios III Ave, on the left hand side, as one travels from Kennedy Square towards the Municipal Market. The saint to whom the church is dedicated is one of the 300 Alaman (German) saints, who arrived in Cyprus from Palestine, probably in the 12th c, in order to escape persecution by the Saracens. Agios Pavlos church. It is a recently-built church (1970), lying in Pano Pervolia, close to the main road leading to Mesogi. It is Byzantine in style with an impressive dome and many windows on all sides and the dome. St. Anthony’s church. In St Anthony str. lies the church of St Anthony which is also used by some religious groups, like the Copts, etc.

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