Friday, May 28, 2010

Ιερός Ναός Αγίου Λαζάρου / The Church of Saint Lazarus

Saint Lazarus Church at night, Larnaca, Cyprus.
Today we visited Saint Lazarus Church.  The structure was originally built in the 9th Century, and has Francish and Venetian additions from the 14th Century.  It was rebuilt in the 18th Century and has reminants remaining.

It is said that Lazarus was resseructed by Christ, he was forced to flee Judea and came to Kition (present day Larnaca) where Paul of Barnabas appointed him Bishop of Kition.  He died about 30 years later.  His tomb was lost in 649 B. C. when Cyprus was under Arab rule, however, a tomb was found in 890 B. C. with the inscription "Lazarus, friend of Christ," and it is assumed this is his tomb.  The church was constructed on top of the site where the tomb was found.  In 898 B.C., his tomb was moved to Constantinople.

This Basilica structure has some interesting features.  It has a Francish Arcade along the length of it's south side.  Along it's East side, there are 2 polygonal asps.  On top, there are 3 domes.  When the structure was rebuilt in the 17th century, they intentionally left parts of the structures "indented" into the structure, to commemorate the previous structure that was built.

Indented structure with original remains (Center of photo)
Francish Arcade, added in the 17th Century.

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