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Church of Agios Sozomenos, Galata


The church of Agios Sozomenos is located in the centre of the old village of Galata, which belongs to the geographical periphery of Solea. The church was erected and decorated in 1513, according to the dedicatory inscription above the west entrance. Fourteen villagers took on the financial responsibility of painting the church, but as two of them were brothers they put in one share and they are thus mentioned as one on the inscription. Moreover, the inscription mentions not only the donors’ names and surnames, but also their professions. Consequently, the inscription gives us an idea of the 16th century Cypriot dialect.

The building is an aisleless, timber-roofed structure. The roof extends beyond the church’s walls to the south, west and north sides, thus forming a Π-shaped portico. The entrance to the church is located on the north side.



Church of Agios Sozomenos, Galata
Church of Agios Sozomenos, Galata

The church’s interior is covered with frescoes, as is the external side of the northern wall. They reflect a more traditional trend of the 16th century, with Byzantine elements and very few western influences. The frescoes are some of the earliest works of the painter Symeon Axenti. He was an eclectic painter with a style which lacks homogeneity in the rendering of forms, as he fails to harmoniously use the western influences he receives. Another characteristic is the warm red ochre he uses on the figures’ faces. Apart from a few exceptions, the wall-paintings are in good condition, as is the church’s general décor.

The frescoes within the church are divided into two tiers. On the upper tier there are scenes from the Christological cycle, while on the lower tier the standing figures of saints are depicted under painted arches. In the apse of the bema, the Virgin is shown between the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The wall-paintings on the external side of the north wall include scenes from the Second Coming, the Root of Jesse and the eight Ecumenical Synods.


Church of Agios Sozomenos, Galata: Wall paintings
Church of Agios Sozomenos, Galata: Wall paintings




Church of Agios Sozomenos, Galata: Wall paintings
Church of Agios Sozomenos, Galata: Wall paintings



District Lefkosia (Nicosia)
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Admission Free


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