Church of St. Lazarus
Cyprus, Larnaca City

The Church of St. Lazarus is one of the three Byzantine churches preserved in Cyprus. The church was built at the beginning of the 10th century at the burial place of St. Lazarus the Four-Day, after the discovery of marble crayfish in 890, on which it was written: "Lazarus the Four-Day, friend of Christ." The relics of St. Lazarus, by order of the Byzantine emperor Leo the Wise, were transferred to Constantinople. The temple has a rectangular shape with a three-sided apse on the facade. Masonry consists of square tufa about a meter thick. The basilica inside is divided into three naves with an impressive double colonnade and arched spans forming passages. The church was crowned with three domes and a bell tower on the southeast side. There are two rows of arched windows on the north and south walls of the church. In the XIII-XVI centuries, the church was under the control of the Roman Catholic Church. During this period, a portico in the Gothic style was attached to the church. In the XVI century, during the Ottoman rule over Cyprus, the church became a mosque, and the domes and bell tower were destroyed. In 1569, the Orthodox Church bought the church, and since then the Orthodox Church of St. Lazarus. The carved baroque iconostasis was made by the woodcarver Hadjisavvas Tagliadoros in 1773-1782. Subsequently, the iconostasis was painted and covered with gilding. Of the 120 icons of the church, the icon of St. Lazarus, dating from the 16th century, is especially revered. The church has a large number of ancient relics - a carved pulpit, made in 1734, a throne and an ark, in which the skull and relics of St. Lazarus rest. The icon of the Apostle Andrew is placed on the south wall, and on the north wall is a copy of the Russian icon of the Kazan Mother of God with a forged silver setting. During restoration work carried out after the fire of 1970, stone tombs were found in the church, in one of which the relics of St. Lazarus were discovered. They were placed in a special ark and exposed for worship of believers. Under the iconostasis, a small church carved into the rock has been preserved. Two sarcophagi rest in it, in one of which Lazarus was once buried. The Church of St. Lazarus and today is one of the most revered in Cyprus. Pilgrims from all over the world come to Larnaca to bow to the relics of St. Lazarus, and on Lazarev Saturday, 8 days before Easter, an icon with its face is worn on the streets of the city during a festive move.

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