Friday, May 9, 2014

Panagia tou Moutoulla Church

The Panagia tou Moutoulla Church (also known as the Church of Panagia and Our Lady of Moutoulla Church) is situated on a hillside near Moutoullas Village in the Marathasa Valley, which is within the Nicosia district of Cyprus.

This 13th century church was built in a wooden-roofed style that was common throughout the Troodos region.

According to a sign at the church, "This church belongs to the wooden-roofed style typical of the Troodos mountain region which was widely adopted because of the ease and economics of its construction.  The walls utilized local stone, the roof was made of wood from the nearby forest and the tiles were often made on the spot as indicated by the presence of kilns nearby....  The original church was small and rectangular, ending in a semi-circular apse on the eastern side.  The L-shaped narthex was added later, probably later in the 16th century." 

The Panagia tou Moutoulla Church was funded by Ioannis and Irene Moutoullas in 1280, and there were additions made to the original church building during the 16th century.

According to a sign at the church, "While the name of the painter is unknown, his style is quite distinctive and represents a mixture of the traditional, indigenous style reminiscent of naif painting.  He also uses elements of the so-called Crusader style which was originated in Palestine by western artists who settled in the various small states created by the Crusaders.  Poor bodily proportions, heads disproportionately larger than bodies, instability of movement, large wide-open eyes with strongly accentuated pupils and a limited color range are the main characteristics of this style.  The painter, maybe due to the use of a warm red color as background, still manages to evoke both emotion and reverence." 

In 1985, this 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 Panagia tou Moutoullas 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 Panagia tou Moutoulla Church is a pleasant place to visit, especially while exploring the mountain village in this region of Cyprus. 

Site: Panagia tou Moutoulla Church. 

Category: Church. 

Location: Near Moutoullas Village in the Marathasa Valley, within the Nicosia district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 22952345 and 22952341. 

Operating Hours: Daylight hours. 

Entrance Fee: Free. 

Date of Visit: 2011.

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