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Worthy decoration "old town"

At the heart of old Nicosia, close to the "green line" separating the Cypriot capital, is Phaneromeni church - one of the oldest and most beautiful churches on the island. Historical sources attribute its creation to 1300 year, to the reign of Cyprus Frankish kings of Lusignan. Once this place was a convent dedicated to Panagia Phaneromeni.

Its inmates were known as skilled seamstress. After all, since ancient times, the island was known for its fine embroidery and production of high quality fabrics and gold thread, which were embroidered with silk clothes. Work brought to the monastery of nuns large income to allocate substantial funds for charitable purposes. One theory links the name of the monastery, as well as the church, built in 1792 year, with the miraculous discovery of the icon of the Virgin. This event occurred during construction. The word "fanerosike" means "was."

Turks who invaded Cyprus in 1571 year, wanted to turn the monastery into a mosque, but there appointed imams (priests) with some fatal sequence suddenly died. Finally, giving up the idea, superstitious Christian invaders left the monastery alone.

The name of the Phanereni church is connected with the opening in 1859 of the first school on the island for girls. In those years, the post of Archbishop was occupied by Makarios I, who in every way contributed to the creation of the school, allocating for this purpose considerable funds from the budget of the Metropolia, and also using the charitable funds of the capital's monasteries and churches. The archbishop wrote to the representatives of the Cypriot clergy living abroad who requested donation of money for the needs of all schools in Nicosia. His appeals were heard and soon considerable sums were received from a number of monasteries of St. Athos, and also from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem from Metropolitan Filimon.

In 1872-1873 years. after major construction work takes Phaneromeni church familiar to us appearance. In 1938 year to her parked bell tower, for which specially in England were cast bells.

One of the characteristic features of the temple is its interior decoration and, especially, the fine carvings of the iconostasis, dated 1659 year, reproducing scenes from the Old Testament, as well as the richness of ancient icons and church paintings. The icon of Panagia Phanereni, which once adorned the iconostasis, is currently kept in the Byzantine Museum of the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation in Nicosia. In the temple is a copy of it, created in 1924 by the largest Cypriot artist Adamantis Diamantis. The icon is placed in a silver gilded salary, made in 1851 year. Many famous Cypriot masters worked tirelessly to create the present appearance of the temple. The Holy Servant and the Archbishop's throne are the work of the famous wood carver A. Papadopoulos. The ambon is made by M.Taliodoros, and icons with the image of the four evangelists belong to the brush of A.Diamantis. Most of the icons are placed in gilded and silvered salaries, artfully crafted by goldsmiths P. Kolokos and G. Elefteriadis. The real decoration of the temple - a magnificent wall painting - a unique work of one of the first Cypriot artists-professionals Ioannis Kissonergis, depicting in the dome of the temple of Christ the Almighty and the four evangelists.

As already mentioned, the icon of the Virgin is in the Byzantine Museum. During the last ten years, under the auspices of the Archbishop of Cyprus, the original is brought for several days to the church for a sacred liturgy in honor of the Mother of God. Dimensions of the icon - 118 on 83 see. Written in the XIV century, according to experts, it was the most valuable treasure of the monastery of Panagia Phanereni. The well-known Cypriot historian Archimandrite Kyprianos wrote: "In Nicosia, there are two miraculous icons: Phanereni and Alinyotissa. The most ancient of them is Phanereni "(History of Cyprus, 1788 year). Engaged in the study of this issue G. Sotiriu believes that the icon refers to the XII century, and in the XVI-XVIII centuries. it was restored. On the frame framing the face of the Virgin, there are images of six hymnographers, as well as requests of the townspeople for sending down the rain, which confirm that the icon was painted during the dry season. An unknown iconographer captured Panagia Phanereni holding a baby Christ on a golden background. The right hand of the Virgin Mary points to the Lord. The faces of the Virgin and of Christ are given in close-up, which allows one to better grasp the strict expression of their faces. Similar images refer to the type of icons "Hodegetria" (pointing).

Fortunately, inexorable time and tumultuous events spared icon, saving for researchers adherents unconventional style pattern flow widespread iconography after the capture of Constantinople by the Turks (1453 g).

On the territory adjacent to the temple, in 1930, a mausoleum was built, where the remains of the heads of the Cyprus Orthodox Church and noble laymen executed by the Turks 9 July 1821 are buried. The tragic events that took place in Cyprus are closely linked to the war in Greece for independence from the Turkish yoke. And long before that, in 1814 year, in the territory of Russia, where many Greeks lived, who did not want to tolerate the enslavement of their homeland, the secret society "Filiki Eteria" was created. Its members launched extensive preparations for the mass protests of the Greek people against the invaders. As a result, the liberation war began in 1821, covering both mainland Greece and the Greek islands.

At the same time, Cyprus was also preparing for an uprising, among its organizers were the highest representatives of the Cyprus Orthodox Church headed by the Archbishop. The governor of the Sultan in Cyprus, well aware of the preparation of the insurrection and who knew the names of the leaders, decided to get ahead of them; all organizers and active participants were arrested. At his order 9 July 1821, Archbishop Cyprianos was hanged, all three metropolitans were beheaded, and also many Orthodox priests and laity. Only for the connection with the rebels was executed 470 people. The Turks plundered the monasteries and confiscated the property of the executed. Part of the dead was buried in the cemeteries of Paleriotissa and Agion Omologiston, and the heads of the Cyprus Church and several prominent citizens (total 17 people) were buried near the church of Panagia Fanereni. In 1872-1873 during the construction work, their remains were placed in the temple in a specially constructed tomb.

July 9 1930 year anniversary of the uprising, after the Liturgy of the Holy Synod and the church in commemoration of heroes Phaneromeni their remains placed in a sarcophagus, has forever laid to rest in a small burial chamber under the mausoleum. At the mausoleum, built of stone brought from Kyrenia, inscribed with the epitaph, composed by Professor University of Athens S.Minardu.

Lyudmila Papaconstantinou - historian, editor of "The Cyprus Kaleidoscope", published by the Pancyprian Federation of Labour (PEO) in Russian, as well as pages for Russian readers in the newspaper "Vima Ergatiko."

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