Ayios Philon Church

Dipkarpaz, Cyprus

Ayios Philon Church was built in the 10th century, on top of a much earlier, possibly 5th Century, basilica, and is virtually all that remains of the ancient Phoenician port of Karpasia. Founded by King Pygmalion of Cyprus, it was a flourishing trading port, half way between Salamis and Anatolia. It was, however, abandoned in 802, after Arab raiders burnt and sacked it and its inhabitants moved inland, founding Dipkarpaz.

Traces of the old harbour wall can still be seen off shore, but the majority of the village is now under sand dunes to the west of the church. The church is named after St. Philo, who converted the people of the area to Christianity, and had been ordained by St Epiphanios in the 4th Century. (St Epiphanios' Basilica is to be seen at Salamis) It is a typically domed Byzantine church, with a three-part apse and a courtyard surrounded by columns. There is a cistern and baptising room, as well as numerous mosaics all around from the earlier structure.

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Dipkarpaz, Cyprus
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Founded: 10th century
Category: Religious sites in Cyprus

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