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Cypriot churches protected by UNESCO

Today, hundreds of monuments from different parts of our planet constitute an extensive list of UNESCO World Values ​​taken under the protection of the Conventions for the Protection and Natural Heritage.

Among them are numerous monuments of Cyprus, whose unique culture has developed not only under the influence of two great cultures - Greek and Middle East, but also with the participation of the person, which stay on the island, according to scientists, is estimated ten millennia. 1135 unique monuments of past centuries, under the Law of Antiquities of Cyprus, 13 already included in the list of World Heritage Sites.

Among them, ten ancient painted churches of Cyprus, which are scattered in a wooded mountainous area of ​​Troodos. This original village temples XI - XVI centuries, the picturesque masonry, flea apse and blind niches in the interior, a gallery and colorful murals that adorn the entire interior of the temple. Their high gable roof, flat roof tiles laid overlapped with characteristic hook firmly fastened to a wooden frame, erected above all church buildings, protecting naves and chapels of the temple, its vaults, and sometimes the dome from the vagaries of nature. The architectural style of the church building was typical of remote areas of the Troodos. And it has for many centuries remained the main church architecture in Cyprus. And even after many centuries, when the financial and engineering capabilities church dioceses widened roofing traditions carefully preserved architecture. Cross-domed and vaulted stone basilica continued to cover the additional wooden roof, with carved beams, in order to protect it from the weather surprises unique creations by Cypriot artists, adorned with frescoes not only internal, but sometimes the outer walls of the temple buildings. And if the architecture of such churches could be considered already quite established local tradition, the murals of temples give each of them a unique appearance. It is the richness of frescoes, their good state of preservation, giving a complete picture of the Cyprus mural that combined skill artists Constantinople school and synthesis of Byzantine art with local traditions and trends of Western art, combines memorable Church of Cyprus, which are now under the protection of UNESCO.

Cypriot churches painted on its walls preserved examples of monumental fresco painting, storytelling language of images Evangelical events that organically supplemented fateful stories of the Old Testament and images of saints, whose merit in establishing Christianity was boundless. Cyprus on the paintings of churches in different centuries inspired work of such talented artists as Theodore and Philip Apsevdis Buzz Simeon Aksentis and widely known Filaret of icon painting workshop of the monastery of St. Heracleides, Ioannis Cornaro from Crete and Nikolaos Savvas, Joseph and Hurios Moteus Kotlomosios from Mount Athos and many others. Although murals temples often been influenced Western art from the masters of the dominant schools of Cyprus has always been a tradition and aesthetics Byzantine canons, which never overshadowed other stylistic influences.

Among the unique world heritage monuments of church architecture, replenishing meeting spiritual values ​​of the planet and taken under protection of UNESCO included the ancient cross-domed church of St. Nicholas in Kakopetria, the Blessed Virgin Mary near Forviotissa Nikitari and the Blessed Virgin Mary in Arakiotissy Lagoudera, built in the XI century, and then, A century later, hidden under a high gable roof.

In addition to these cross-domed churches on the list of world treasures and presented basilica churches. These include the Church of Our Lady Podithou in Galata, in the Precious Cross Agiasmati Platanistasa, Blessed Bogroditsy Mutullas in the homonymous village, Archangel Michael in Pedoulas, Transfiguration of Our Lord in Paleochora, the church in the monastery of St. Lampadistis Kalopanayotis and domed basilica of the Precious Cross in Pelendri. This squat, a relatively small church with thick walls and a semicircular apse projecting spherical dome and a gallery, sometimes around the perimeter, united under a common gable roof.

Today, scientists believe, in the highlands of Cyprus there are more than two hundred of these churches, which continue to affect the imagination of his contemporaries talent and skill Cypriot painters and architects. And of course, that these original creations still join the list of unique churches planet.


(Left) Cross-domed church of St. Nicholas in the village under the roof Kakopetria. XI century.
(Right) The Church of the Blessed Virgin Forviotissa (Asinou) near Nikitari. XI century.


(Left) Collegiate Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the village of Lagoudera Arakiotissy. XI century.
(Right) The Transfiguration of Christ Church in the village of Paleochora. XVI century.


St. Mary Church in Galata Podithou. XV.


Church of the True Cross in Agiasmati Platanistasa. XV.


St. Mary Church Mutullas in the homonymous village. XIII century.


Church of Archangel Michael in Pedoulas. XV.


Domed basilica of the Precious Cross in Pelendri. XII century.


Church in the monastery of St. Lampadistis Kalopanayotis. XI

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