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A celebration of two millennia of Christian worship

Cyprus was the first country in the world governed by a man who had embraced Christianity – the Roman proconsul of Cyprus, Sergius Paulus. In 45 AD Saint Barnabas and St Paul had started the Christian Church in Cyprus, whose capital then was Paphos, and it was they admitted Sergius Paulus into the Church.

The bishopric of Paphos was constituted in the first Century AD and the Diocese of Paphos has covered the same geographical area since 1260, when the assimilation of the sees Paphos and Arsinoi was made. In comprises 16 parishes and three working monasteries: Trooditissa, Chrysorroyiatissa and the Holly Cross of Mintha.

The earliest day of the Christian religion, and its history in Cyprus through the centuries are commemorated and celebrated in the fascinating Byzantine Museum in the heart of Pano Paphos. The museum is sited in the east wing of the Holly Bishopric of Paphos.

The museum’s exhibits include: Icons (sacred images venerated in Churches and homes of the eastern Christianity, depicting Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Saints or the other Holly figures, painted in the Byzantine style (generally on the wooden panels); Wall Paintings, Wood Carvings, Metal Art Works, Sacerdotal Vestments and Embroiders; Manuscripts and old printed works.

The collection of Icons numbers more than 100 and the earliest, that of Saint Marina, dates from the period of turbulence during the Arab condominium, of the 7th or 8th century AD. The others in the collection are dated between 12th and the 19th centuries.

Wall paintings come from the ruined churches with some murals dating from around 1100 AD. The selection of wood carvings includes fragments of iconostases, such as Sanctuary doors, Crucifixions of Lyptera from the 14th to 18th centuries. Later work consists of various crosses for benediction and sanctification.

The remarkable collection of ecclesiastical metal art, covering the period from the 17th to 20th centuries, includes covers of old printed gospels dating to 1604, 1745 and 1838, different mitres of the 18th and 19th centuries, a reliquary of 1850, a chalice and paten of 1796, and 19th century censer.

The Byzantine Museum adjoining the Paphos Bishopric,
Andrea Ioannou, 5. Telephone: 26931392.
Open from 9:00 to 7:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday
(9:00 to 5:00 p.m. from October to May) and from
9:00 to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
Admission €1.00. Parking is not to difficult nearby.

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