Thursday, May 8, 2014

Archangelos Michail Church

The Archangelos Michail Church (also known as the Archangel Michael Church and the Saint Michael Church) is located in Pedoulas Village, which is within the Nicosia district of Cyprus.

This church was built around 1474, and it's considered an important landmark in Pedoulas Village.  The wooden-roofed style is typical of the churches of this time period throughout the Troodos mountain range.

According to a sign at the church, "Initially this small church was single-aisled but was later expanded by the addition of two aisles to the south and west sides.  According to the dedicatory inscription over the north entrance, the building of this church was funded through the donation of a priest named Vassilios Chamados in 1474.  Above this inscription the founder, is portrayed together with his wife and two daughters, is portrayed offering the model of the church to Christ."

This sign at the church proceeds to share that "this church has two main characteristics.  It is one of the very few whose frescoes are actually signed by the artist.  Secondly, there is a wealth of scenes and subjects from the Old Testament."

Due to the Byzantine paintings within the Archangelos Michail Church and similar churches throughout the region, these churches are called the painted churches.

According to a sign at the church, "The painter Minas was a native of the region of Marathasa, originally called "Myrianthousa" - which in Greek means the land of a thousand flowers.  The painter, while allowing himself to be influenced by the Macedonian and the Western styles (e.g. the details in the soldiers' uniforms), generally remains faithful to the basic rules of Byzantine art.  Overriding all these external influences Minas shows a very personal approach to his work by the generous use of red color or its several shades and the asymmetrical quality of the background scenes of the faces.  Minas was a naive painted who followed the artistic trends of his times and his country." 

In 1985, the Archangelos Michail Church, along with nine other Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches in Cyprus, were added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

According to this website, the Archangelos Michail Church and other Cypriot churches were added as World Heritage Site, due to the following three points: "They constitute a testimony to the Byzantine culture on the island.  They are important monuments of rural ecclesiastical architecture preserved in very good condition.  The art of these churches have elements which show the relation between Eastern and Western Christian art."

The Archangelos Michail Church is a lovely site to visit, especially while exploring Pedoulas Village.

Site: Archangelos Michail Church. 

Category: Church. 

Location: Pedoulas Village in the Troodos mountains, within the Nicosia district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 22952704 and 22953636. 

Operating Hours: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Monday to Sunday, from March to November.  10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Monday to Sunday, from December to February.

Entrance Fee: Free. 

Date of Visit: 2011.

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