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Monastery of Panagia Asinou

Nikitari also hosts the church of Panagia Forviotissa, or as it is also known, Panagia of Asinou, which constitutes one of the most significant ecclesiastical monuments on the island. What is worth mentioning is that the church of Panagia Forviotissa is one of the ten Byzantine churches bearing hagiographies which have been declared World Cultural Heritage Monuments by UNESCO. 

It is a small stony church built with local stone and with a steep-pitched roof covered with flat tiles. The church constituted the church of the Monastery of the Forvion.   

The Monastery of the Forvion was established in 1099 by Master Nikiforos Ischyrios, who then became monk Nicolaos. According to the Antiquities Department, its operation did not cease during the Turkish occupation, until the end of the 18th century. Nowadays, apart from the Monastery church, no other remains of the Monastery survive. The church of Panagia of Asinou or Forviotissa consists of two parts, the single-aisled nave and the narthex, which was added during the second half of the 12th century.  

The interior of the church is adorned by exquisite hagiographies dated back to different time periods. The most important ones are considered to be the original hagiographies which, as the Great Cyprus Encyclopaedia notes, present the new tendencies of the Comnenian painting. These hagiographies were undoubtedly painted by a painter originating from Constantinople since they present distinctive features of byzantine art.  

Giorgos Karouzis, StrollingaroundCyprus, Nicosia, CityandDistrict, Nicosia 2001
Great Cyprus Encyclopaedia, vol.3

 January 2021


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