Cyprus – Kiti – Angeloctistos Church

The main part of Panagia Angeloktisti, which literally means “Our Lady built by the angels” in Greek, dates from the 11th century and still serves as a working church for the busy village. During our visit, locals from various walks of life – an old lady dressed head to toe in black, a construction worker from the building site down the road and a dentist from across the street taking a break from drilling teeth – all stopped in to offer up a quick prayer and kiss an icon or two. It’s nice to see such a venerable old building still in active use.

The church was built on and around the remains of a 6th century Christian basilica, the apse of which – and the fabulous mosaic of the Virgin Mary which serves as its stunning centerpiece – still survive today. Intriguingly, the mosaic was only “discovered” in 1952 during renovations. The original construction has clearly been added to and sympathetically restored in parts, and the standard is such that you can hardly differentiate between the ancient and the relatively new.

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