Church of St. Nicholas Under the Roof
Cyprus, Kakopetria

The Church of St. Nicholas Under the Roof is located two kilometers from the village of Kakopetria, at the foot of the Troodos Mountains. This is the only church preserved from the ancient monastery of the XI century, it is considered one of the most interesting Byzantine churches in Cyprus. The monastery flourished both in the Byzantine period and during the years of dominion on the island of Frankish knights. In the 17th century, its decline began, and at the beginning of the 19th century, with the death of the last monk Gerasimos, the property and buildings of the monastery were described and leased. Only the church of St. Nicholas under the roof has survived to this day. The temple originally had a cross-square shape, typical of Byzantine churches, and was crowned with a traditional dome. The narthex and nave of the church were built in the 12th century. Towards the end of the 12th century, the temple was covered with a steep gable roof, under which today lies a cruciform vault and a dome. The roof was erected for additional protection of the church structure and unique murals from the destructive effects of snow, rain and wind. Thanks to this roof, the church got the name "Under the Roof". The church of St. Nicholas under the roof gained worldwide fame thanks to its mural, which was created for more than 600 years, from the 11th to the 17th century. The murals of the eleventh century have been preserved in fragmented form; the frescoes The Life of Jesus, the Resurrection of Lazarus, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and St. Nicholas, in the left corner of which the image of the donor who paid for its creation, has been preserved. The picture of the Forty Martyrs of Sebastia dates from the 12th century and is dedicated to the first Christians who accepted martyrdom. Most of the murals were painted in the 14th century — the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the images of Christ the Pantocrator on the dome of the church, the Prophets and evangelists — on the dome drum, in the nave and vestibule a group of saints is shown in full size. A fresco with a rare iconographic type of St. Mary, a breastfeeding divine child, located to the right of the iconostasis, was also painted in the XIV century. The painting retained its original colors and paints and has never been restored since its inception. The latest murals date from 1633, these are images of the apostles Peter and Paul, which adorn the eastern piers that support the dome. The church iconostasis was made in the 17th century; it separates the altar space from the entire temple. The Church of St. Nicholas under the roof is one of the most important religious monuments in Cyprus, it is called the Museum of Byzantine Art. In 1985, the church was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Tourist Objects nearby
Asinu Church in Troodos
Asinu Church in Troodos