Church of Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa, Cyprus

Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa Church was built around 1500AD on the site of an earlier 4th century basilica, however the origins of the site go back to the early part of the first century AD. As one approaches the Church a small white column known as St Paul’s Pillar can be seen. It is named after the Apostle who it is believed came to Cyprus in the early 40s to spread the word of Christianity but was tied to this pillar and whipped 39 times. It was during St Paul’s stay in Paphos that the Roman proconsul Serguys Paulus converted to Christianity apparently after witnessing those who had denounced St Paul lose their vision, as predicted by the Apostle. Serguys Paulus was the first Roman Governor to convert to the new religion. A large Basilica was erected on the site of an earlier wooden church in the 4th century. It was an impressive building of over 1600 Sq metres, seven aisles, columns of marble and granite, and mosaics, much of which can still be seen today. That basilica appears to have been destroyed at the time of an Arab invasion circa 653AD, Arab graffiti on some of the fallen columns attest to this. Later a small Byzantine Church was erected but was eventually replaced by the structure we see today when the Venetians gained control of the island around 1498. Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa survived the Ottoman invasion of 1570, the church is now used by the Anglican Church and Latin Church, but is open to all visitors.

GPS: 34.75789, 32.4142

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