The church of St Mary of the Carmelites is situated in the north west corner of Famagusta. In the 13th century, as the Muslim armies gradually reclaimed the Holy Land, many middle eastern Christians fled to Famagusta. Although Christian, their specific beliefs differed from that of Latin or Orthodox Christians. Because of this, they tended to congregate in the same area, and here you will find churches of the Nestorians, Jacobites and Armenians, as well as the Carmelites.
Because the Carmelites originated from the Carmel mountains of Syria, this area became known as the Syrian quarter of the city. St Mary of the Carmelites, was built in the 14th century as the church of a monastery. It has a single nave of four bays and a three-sided apse. In the second bay, two small chapels were added. The roof had ribbed vaults, and the exterior walls were supported by buttresses.
In its day, it was an important church. The tomb of Peter Thomas, who was the Pope's representative and the Patriarch of Constantinople, who died in 1366 was in this church.
The walls of the church were covered in frescoes, and some of those are still (just) visible. Outside the west door, you can also see the remains of sculptures above the entrance.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.