Merja gave me these two maxi cards. In the central part of Cyprus, in the mountains of the Troodos range, some of the most important monuments of the history of Byzantine painting have survived. These are the painted churches which have to this day preserved brilliant examples of various trends of Byzantine and post-Byzantine monumental art, from the 11th to the 19th century. Ten of these churches have so far been granted World Cultural Heritage status by UNESCO.
The Church of Archangel Michael (card above) is situated in a central area of the Troodos mountain range, in the valley of Marathasa, in the village of Pedoulas. In 1985 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List which includes nine other painted Byzantine churches of the Troodos range. According to the dedicatory inscription above the north entrance, the church was built and decorated with frescoes in 1474, with the donation of priest Vasilios Chamados. The priest, accompanied by his wife and two daughters, is depicted above the dedicatory inscription, offering Archangel Michael a model of the church. This church belongs to the typical single-aisled, timber-roof type of the Troodos region. The narthex, which extends to its south and west side, was used as a loft due to the small size of the church. The loft was used by the women, while only men entered the main church.
The card below shows The 12th century Church of Panagia tou Araka, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stands just outside the village of Lagoudera and boasts some of the finest frescoes of the late Comnenian style (1192) prevailing throughout Greece, the Balkans and Russia. Together with the churches of Asinou and Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, it is considered to be one of the most important Byzantine churches on the island. Visitors should ask for the priest, who can be found on the premises next to the church, to escort them to the church.