Notre Dame de Tyre

Nicosia, Cyprus

Notre Dame de Tyre is a 14th-century monastery in Nicosia. It is believed that the original church, known as the Benedictine Abbey of Our Lady of Tyre, was founded in the 13th century as a principal convent following the fall of Jerusalem. In 1308, the Lusignan king, Henry II of Jerusalem, repaired the church after it was destroyed by an earthquake. As many of the nuns were Armenian in origin, it came under the Armenian Church before 1504.

In 1570, following the capture of Nicosia by the Ottomans, the keeping of the Paphos Gate, the church, and the surrounding area were handed over to the Armenians by Sultan Selim II.

The Armenian Prelature of Cyprus was housed next to the church, until the 1963-1964 intercommunal troubles, when it was taken over by extremist Turkish-Cypriots. In 1920 the descendants of Artin Melikian restored the church, and built the Melikian Elementary School on the grounds of the church. In 1938, the Ouzounian Elementary School was established by Dikran Ouzounian. There was also a kindergarten, originally built in 1902 and called Shoushanian.

In 1963, part of Nicosia was taken over by Turkish-Cypriot extremists, including the church complex. The church was trashed and illegal Turkish settlers moved in, causing further damage. In 2007, the area was sealed off and architects, historians and a committee met with the Armenian Ethnarchy to discuss renovation and refurbishment.

The existing building is gothic in style and consists of a square nave, with a semi-octagonal apse, cross vaults an arch covering the western part, a bell tower (built in 1860) and convent buildings to the north of the church. To the east of the nunnery buildings is the sarcophagus of Lady Dampierre, an Abbess of the nunnery. On the church floor are tombstones dating from the 14th and 15th centuries.

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Address

Demirkent SK, Nicosia, Cyprus
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Details

Founded: c. 1308
Category: Religious sites in Cyprus

Rating

4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

marizu ugochukwu (13 months ago)
Good
KHALIFA YA'U HAMZARI (20 months ago)
Historical
E G (3 years ago)
Beautiful renovated church
E G (3 years ago)
Beautiful renovated church
Kemal Giray (3 years ago)
Under restoration. Nothing much to see
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