The church of St. Euphemianos is a very small, single-dome, stone building and its interior is decorated with frescoes dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. The inscription on the bottom of the arch indicates that the temple was dedicated by Lavrentios, monk and abbot of St. Andronikos Monastery. Technically, the Church of St. Euphemianos is a chapel, due to its diminutive size and the fact that it was not the main church of Lysi, there was no priest assigned to it, and services were only held there on special occasions.
The dome of the church is decorated with a fresco showing Christ Pantocrator, the 'All sovereign'. Surrounding the figure of Christ is a double row of angels moving towards the Hetoimasia or empty throne prepared by God the Father for the Second Coming of Christ. The throne is guarded by the Archangel Michael and Archangel Gabriel and two seraphim. The Virgin Mary leads one line of angels to the throne, while John the Baptist leads the other. In the apse, the Virgin is depicted as flanked by the two archangels with a medallion on her breast of the infant Christ, symbolizing the Incarnation of Christ.
The frescoes within the church were maintained in good condition and in 1972 maintenance was undertaken by the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus. Following the 1974 Turkish invasion the frescos were removed, sometime between 1974 and the spring of 1983. The dome fresco with Christ Pantokrator and an apse depicting the Virgin Mary were cut into 38 pieces, and shipped to Germany by Aydın Dikmen, the Turkish art dealer and notorious smuggler, who claimed they originated from an abandoned church in southern Turkey, and prepared to sell them into the European art market. The Department of Antiquities of Cyprus was able to show that the murals were forcibly removed from the church of St. Euphemianos and following lengthy negotiations, it was agreed that ownership of the murals belongs to the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. The 38 fresco fragments were bought by the Houston-based Menil Foundation on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, the rightful owner of the frescoes. The Menil Foundation then funded a careful restoration of the paintings.References:
Czocha Castle is located on the Lake Leśnia, what is now the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. Czocha castle was built on gneiss rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were later added.
Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered by Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, in the middle of the 13th century (1241–1247). In 1253 castle was handed over to Konrad von Wallhausen, Bishop of Meissen. In 1319 the complex became part of the dukedom of Henry I of Jawor, and after his death, it was taken over by another Silesian prince, Bolko II the Small, and his wife Agnieszka. Origin of the stone castle dates back to 1329.
In the mid-14th century, Czocha Castle was annexed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Then, between 1389 and 1453, it belonged to the noble families of von Dohn and von Kluks. Reinforced, the complex was besieged by the Hussites in the early 15th century, who captured it in 1427, and remained in the castle for unknown time (see Hussite Wars). In 1453, the castle was purchased by the family of von Nostitz, who owned it for 250 years, making several changes through remodelling projects in 1525 and 1611. Czocha's walls were strengthened and reinforced, which thwarted a Swedish siege of the complex during the Thirty Years War. In 1703, the castle was purchased by Jan Hartwig von Uechtritz, influential courtier of Augustus II the Strong. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.
In 1909, Czocha was bought by a cigar manufacturer from Dresden, Ernst Gutschow, who ordered major remodelling, carried out by Berlin architect Bodo Ebhardt, based on a 1703 painting of the castle. Gutschow, who was close to the Russian Imperial Court and hosted several White emigres in Czocha, lived in the castle until March 1945. Upon leaving, he packed up the most valuable possessions and moved them out.
After World War II, the castle was ransacked several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece. In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference centre. The complex was featured in several movies and television series. Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game (LARP) that takes place in their own universe and can be compared to Harry Potter.