The Big church of Holy Cross

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The Big church of Holy Cross

This is the main church of the community. Built on a plateau, the impressive church dominates the village with its high proportions and two belfries. It belongs to the cross-shaped type of church with a dome. Its construction began in 1933 and completed in 1935.

Displayed on its impressive post-Byzantine wood-carved iconostasis are icons belonging to various periods and to a variety of artistic techniques. A special wood-carved “throne” holds the church’s most important relic, a crucifix that contains a piece of the Holy Cross. On the one side the wooden crucifix has a 17th century silver and gold coating featuring scenes from the Divine Passion and on the other a 19th century silver coating depicting the Crucified Jesus. According to local tradition, the piece of the Holy Cross was brought from Constantinople, as was the feast of the Bearing of the Holy Cross on August 1st, a purely Constantinopolitan one.

The church replaced an older timber-roofed one, possibly a three-aisle church, as a photograph by J.P. Foscolo (1852-1927) shows. Sections of a wood-carved iconostasis (16th c.) survive from this old church, along with holy chattels and quite a few icons, including one of the Crucified Christ (1660) and another of Christ with the apostles from the Great Supplication, both works by hagiographer Pavlos of Nicosia, now exhibited in the Pedoulas Byzantine Museum.

Attributed to the miraculous power of the Holy Cross is the banishment of epidemics, the plague primary among them. Many years ago, thieves stole the Holy Cross. When they reached the “Gounari” locality, the cross became so excessively heavy that they could carry it no more and had to abandon it. When the present church was being built, a woman worker by the name of Marianna, who carried building stones, fell from a great height without coming to any harm. The miracle of her survival was attributed to the Holy Cross.