Church of Sts. Peter and Paul

Across a narrow street parallel to the south side of the royal palace is the site historically known as the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul.  Although theories abound, a positive identification of this building has so far eluded scholars.

 

It is one of the largest, and best preserved of the regional Gothic-style churches in Famagusta, closely resembling the Greek Cathedral in plan, and dating with a high degree of certainty from the same decade of the 14th century (c.1360).  The north portal to the nave is clearly from an earlier building, and possesses some positively splendid 13th century carved stone ornamentation.  Although the east-end enclosure wall is contemporary with the church's original construction, the south-wall buttressing appears to have been added at a later date.  Two elegantly carved, white marble Ottoman tombs can be found on the buildings's south side.  These are 18th century.

 

Overall, the church's architecture is simple, yet elegant.  Its interior plan consists of a nave with two aisles leading to a central apse and two apsidal chapels.  The aisles are divided into five bays each.  It appears that this church was already out of use during Venetian times, which is thought to have contributed to its fine state of preservation, having been spared from destruction by the conquering Ottoman militia.

 

It was the second church after the cathedral to be taken over, becoming the Sinan Pasa Mosque in 1572.

 

If you want to read more of the restoration work of the internal fresco within the church click here.

 

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