Situated in the centre of Larnaka (Larnaca), the magnificent early 10th century stone church of Agios Lazaros is one of the most important surviving Byzantine monuments of Cyprus. It was built by Byzantine Emperor Leo VI in exchange for the transfer of the Saint’s relic to Constantinople. The church lies over the tomb of Agios Lazaros, the resurrected friend of Jesus Christ who came to ancient Kition in 33 AD and became its first Bishop and Patron Saint. The tomb, along with other marble sarcophagi and box - shaped tombs brought to light during excavations, can be seen inside the church crypt.
The three imposing domes of this Orthodox Basilica Church and the original bell tower were destroyed, probably in the first years of Ottoman rule when the church was turned into a mosque. The brilliant byzantine artistry of the icons and the unique baroque woodcarving of the gold covered iconostasis were completed in 1782 and have survived until today.
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