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Church of Agios Varnavas and Ilarionas, Peristerona


The church of Agios Varnavas and Ilarionas is built on the west bank of Serrahis’ tributary river, Peristeronas, of the homonymous village situated in the valley of Mesaoria.

Along with the church of Agia Paraskevi of Geroskipou, they constitute the only five-domed churches of Cyprus. The church of Agios Varnavas and Ilarionas, is dated to the end of the 11th - beginning of the 12th century. It is quite possible that it replaced an earlier church, which probably belonged to the type of the three-aisled, barrel-vaulted basilica. In 1959, during the course of restricted excavation work in the church’s interior, a semi-circular synthronon was found within the apse, along with the base of a templon screen. Part of the original church’s north wall still survives, incorporated in the western part of the wall of the existing church.


Church of Agios Varnavas and Ilarionas, Peristerona


The church belongs to the type of the three-aisled, barrel-vaulted basilica. The nave has three domes. In the centre of the side aisles, the semi-cylindrical vault is interrupted by a smaller dome, which touches upon the sides of the central dome of the nave. Thus, seen from above, a cross-shaped plan on the roof of the church is formed.


Church of the Agios Varnavas and Ilarionas, Peristerona


The narthex is a later addition with contemporary repairs. The church’s belfry was built in the 19th century. The oldest wall-painting samples belong to the 15th and 16th century. The 16th century altar-doors of the iconostasis also survive. The plaster fragments of the templon screen belonging to the church’s first architectural phase, dated to the Middle Byzantine period, are on display in the narthex.



Church of Agios Varnavas and Ilarionas,
Peristerona: Wall painting


District Lefkosia (Nicosia)
Telephone --
Opening Hours Please inquire at the coffee-shop next door
Admission Free



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