The church of the Metamorfosis tou Sotiros (Transfiguration of the Saviour) is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List , which includes nine other painted Byzantine churches of the Troodos range.
It was erected at the beginning of the 16th century and it belongs to the single-aisled, timber-roof typechurches of the Troodos region. The narthex, which was added by the beginning of the 17th century, extends to the west and south sides of the church and is covered by the same timber roof.
The interior of the church is entirely covered with wall-paintings. These date to the beginning of the 16th century, and constitute one of the most complete groups of wall-paintings of the Late Byzantine period in Cyprus. It is the most important example of the work of a group of painters of the Venetian occupation period, who remained attached to traditional Byzantine art, whilst having limited western influences. It is the same kind of art which we observe during the 16th century in various Greek lands under Ottoman occupation.
The unknown artist was influenced by the art of the Palaiologan period but at the same time kept his own style with some influences from western art. The artist seems to have been very capable and a master in the drawing of standing human figures.
On the external side of the west wall of the church there are some later wall-paintings, dated to 1612. The wooden painted iconostasis dates to the beginning of the 18th century. Most of the portable icons are dated to the same period and are the work of painter Mathaios Koutloumousios, a monk from Mount Athos.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.