Friday, July 4, 2014

Agios Lazaros Church and Tomb

The Agios Lazaros Church (also known as the Saint Lazarus Church) is located in the Agios Lazaros Square, near the Larnaca Fort, in the city of Larnaca, within the Larnaca district of Cyprus.

This Greek Orthodox church was built in the late 9th century, and it's considered one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in Cyprus.

The Agios Lazaros Church is named after Lazarus from the Bible.  After he was resurrected from the dead by Jesus Christ, Lazarus moved to Kition in 33 AD.  He served as the first bishop of Kition, which is present-day Larnaca.  

In 890 AD, a tomb with the inscription of "Lazarus the friend of Christ" was discovered.  Thus, it's believed that this is Lazarus' tomb, after his second death.  In 898, his remains were transferred to Constantinople, yet the Agios Lazaros Church was built over Lazarus' tomb in the late 9th century.

During the 13th to 16th centuries, the Agios Lazaros Church became Roman Catholic, under Frankish and Venetian rule.  In 1571, Ottomans renovated this church into a mosque.  However, the Ottomans sold the building to the Orthodox Church in 1589.  In 1857, some of the church's renovations included a bell tower.  In 1970, a fire damaged most of the church's interior, yet it's been restored over the years.

Today, the Tomb of Agios Lazaros is accessible, while visiting within the Agios Lazaros Church.  In the same courtyard, there's the Agios Lazaros Byzantine Museum (also known as the Cultural Center of Saint Lazarus), which features religious icons and relics.

The Agios Lazaros Church and Tomb of Agios Lazaros are intriguing places to explore for tourists and local residents. 

Site: Agios Lazaros Church, Agios Lazaros Tomb, and Agios Lazaros Byzantine Museum. 

Category: Church and Museum. 

Location: Agios Lazaros Square in the city of Larnaca, within the Larnaca district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 24652498. 

Operating Hours: 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM on Monday to Friday.   8:00 AM to 5:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday.

Entrance Fee: Free

Date of Visit: 2009, 2010, and 2011.

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