St. George of the Latins Church Ruins

Famagusta, Cyprus

St George of the Latins is the remains of one of the earliest churches in Famagusta. The exact date of construction is unknown, but evidence of a crenellated parapet where defenders could protect the church, hints that it was built at a time when the Lusignans had not yet completed the city walls. Its design was supposedly inspired by St. Chapelle church in Paris, which was built in 1241. Generally, it is thought that the church was built in the last quarter of the 13th century, using material removed from the Salamis ruins.

The major part of what remains are the northern and eastern wall. However, these remains allow us to imagine what the edifice must have looked like. The only entrance which survives is to the north, and this is comparatively well preserved. It is surrounded by carvings, and nearby you can see a bearded man wearing monks robes, and a lion attacking a lamb. On top of the piers there were marble gargoyles to take the rainwater off the roof.

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Founded: 13th century
Category: Religious sites in Cyprus

More Information

www.whatson-northcyprus.com

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andy Nordmann (14 months ago)
Sitting amid a traffic intersection, St George of the Latins is one of Famagusta’s oldest churches. Located in the northern part of the old city, close to Othello’s Tower, the remaining walls with their distinctive lancet windows, are a great example of early Gothic architecture. Though the precise date of its construction is unknown, evidence of a fortified parapet where defenders could protect the church, indicates that St George was built at a time when the Lusignans had not yet completed the city walls, most likely in the last quarter of the 13th century, using materials removed from Salamis. Its design is said to be inspired by Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, considered among the highest achievements of the Rayonnant period of Gothic architecture, and consecrated in 1248. Despite what remains today is predominantly the northern and eastern walls, the remnants indicate what the edifice may have looked like in its prime. Thin columns built into the walls were usually elaborately carved with religious figures or with coats of arms belonging to benefactors of the church. Areas of the walls between the pillars were structured to be relatively free of weight, one of the main features of Gothic architecture, granting huge windows and substantial sunlight to enter the church. In the south west corner, the first steps of what was a spiral staircase leading up to the roof can be seen, and to the north west, remnants of a guard house with a conical roof, the entrance doorway still unmistakable. Following the line of the roof you can still see some of the protective wall, complete with arrow slots, another reason researchers believe the church was built before the city walls were completed. As was the case with most of the towering buildings, the city walls didn't provide complete protection and the church suffered damage during the Ottoman siege of 1570 – 1571, some of which can still be observed on the eastern wall of the church. The only entrance which survives is to the north, and this is comparatively well preserved. It's surrounded by carvings – a gargoyle in the form of a monk opening his mouth with his hand, most likely used to drain water from the walls, and also of a lion devouring a lamb. Not to be confused with the similarly named St George of the Greeks church which is a few minutes walk away.
Kerem Cantekin (2 years ago)
A building with an impressive appearance, unfortunately, ruined and not evaluated in any way. So it's nice to watch the view of Lala Mustafa Pasa Mosque from the head.
Yunus Emre Korkusuz (3 years ago)
Like almost all historical artifacts in the TRNC, it is neglected and abandoned to its own fate. It is a Gothic-style church built at the end of the 13th century.
Valentin Burblis (3 years ago)
Apparently the building was beautiful.
MG MG (4 years ago)
Opposite the castle stands the huge ruin of the Latin church of St. George's is a perfect example of early Gothic. Today, unfortunately, only the outline is visible.
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