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

4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

mohsen bahadori (2 years ago)
A good place to visit in old part of Nicosia
Erkan Ilpars (3 years ago)
Ermini kilisesi 17 yüzyılda luziryan dönemine ait bir kilisedir.osmanli döneminde sarı selim padişah Ermeni kralının yardımları karşılığında bu kiliseyi vermiştir.gotik ve Katolik bir kilise olup . arabahmet bölgesi içerisinde yer almaktadır..1974 yılında Kıbrıs Barış gücü tarafından korumaya alınmıştır .. yaklaşık 10 sene önce restore edilerek Kıbrıs halkına kazandırılmıştır.. şuanda bünyesinde DAU (Doğu Akdeniz üniversitesi) yüksek lisans ve Master öğrencilerine olanak sağlamıştır.
Ian Fergusson-Sharp (4 years ago)
This 13th century Armenian monastery is located on the edge of the Arabahmet area. It is believed that the original church, known as the Benedictine Abbey of Our Lady of Tyre, was founded as a principal convent for the women of Cyprus following the fall of Jerusalem and the expulsion of all religious orders from the city in the 8th Century. When the city was divided in 1963, the church found itself right on the border between north and south, and it was fairly comprehensively trashed. In more recent years, squatters moved in, causing further damage. These however,were removed in readiness for the extensive refurbishment of building. In July 2012, renovation of the main church buildings was completed. Work continues on surrounding buildings which will be used as a cultural and educational centre. Because of the on-going building work, the church is only occasionally opened.
Арцви Навасардян (4 years ago)
Ararat people history
Vincent Zeteliano (6 years ago)
It's closed. You can't go into it. The enterance is blocked by garbage and chairs. The surrounding area is probably the most dilapidated part of Northern Cyprus.
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From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

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The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

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The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

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The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.