The church of Panagia is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, which includes nine other painted Byzantine churches of the Troodos range. According to the dedicatory inscription on the north wall of the Holy Bema, the church was built and decorated with frescoes in 1280, with the donation of Ioannis of Moutoullas and his wife Irene. Both of them are depicted holding a model of the church. It is therefore possible, that the Church of Panagia tou Moutoulla was a private chapel. The church belongs to the well-known architectural type of the single-aisled, steep-pitched timber roof of the Troodos region. The narthex was added at a later stage, after the beginning of the 16th century, and it extends to the west and north sides the church. The timber roof also covers the narthex.
As far as the mural decoration of the church is concerned, it is worth noting that it is the only series of wall-paintings of the thirteenth century (1280) which survive in Cyprus that can be dated with precision. Due to the small size of the church, the iconographic programme was reduced accordingly. It must be noted that the donors are faithful to the orthodox tradition, without ignoring their contemporary world, a fact that becomes obvious when one notices the repertoire. It is in any case a remarkable set of wall paintings.
Both the style and the iconographic programme of the painter are of great interest. His style is a mixture of older 12th century Byzantine characteristics, with elements from his contemporary western art. He also uses elements from the painting developed in the crusader lands of the East, in Cappadocia, Crete and generally in remote Greek lands. Some of these characteristics can also be seen in Apulian hermitages and the Calabrian churches of South Italy. The exterior of the north wall of the church was decorated at the end of the 15th or the beginning of the 16th century with a scene from the Last Judgement.References:
Castle Rushen is located in the Isle of Man"s historic capital, Castletown. The castle is amongst the best examples of medieval castles in the British Isles, and is still in use as a court house, museum and educational centre.
The exact date of castle is unknown, although construction is thought to have taken place during the reigns of the late 12th century and early 13th century rulers of the Isle of Man – the Kings of Mann and the Isles. The original Castle Rushen consisted of a central square stone tower, or keep. The site was also fortified to guard the entrance to the Silver Burn. From its early beginnings, the castle was continually developed by successive rulers of Mann between the 13th and 16th century. The limestone walls dominated much of the surrounding landscape, serving as a point of dominance for the various rulers of the Isle of Man. By 1313, the original keep had been reinforced with towers to the west and south. In the 14th century, an east tower, gatehouses, and curtain wall were added.
After several more changes of hands the English and their supporters eventually prevailed. The English king Edward I Longshanks claimed that the island had belonged to the Kings of England for generations and he was merely reasserting their rightful claim to the Isle of Man.
The 18th century saw the castle in steady decay. By the end of the century it was converted into a prison. Even though the castle was in continuous use as a prison, the decline continued until the turn of the 20th century, when it was restored under the oversight of the Lieutenant Governor, George Somerset, 3rd Baron Raglan. Following the restoration work, and the completion of the purpose-built Victoria Road Prison in 1891, the castle was transferred from the British Crown to the Isle of Man Government in 1929.
Today it is run as a museum by Manx National Heritage, depicting the history of the Kings and Lords of Mann. Most rooms are open to the public during the opening season (March to October), and all open rooms have signs telling their stories. The exhibitions include a working medieval kitchen where authentic period food is prepared on special occasions and re-enactments of various aspects of medieval life are held on a regular basis, with particular emphasis on educating the local children about their history. Archaeological finds made during excavations in the 1980s are displayed and used as learning tools for visitors.