Cyprus // Larnaka and around //

Agios Lazaros

Larnaka’s cathedral, Agios Lazaros is just around the corner from the Grand Mosque – between them they marked the border between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot parts of town. Lazaros was one of the earliest Christians, having, famously, died and been brought back to life by Christ (see box below). Dating from the ninth-century AD when it was built to house the remains of the saint, the church has been through many changes. The southern portico was added in the eighteenth century, as was much of the internal woodwork – the iconostasis, the altar and the bishop’s throne. Finally, in 1857 the belfry completed the building as it now stands. The inside of the church has the usual Greek Orthodox sumptuousness, all carvings and gold leaf and brass, if a little muted by a fire in the 1970s. Look out in particular for the twelfth-century icon of St Lazaros, and, down some steps to the right after you’ve entered, the (empty) coffin of the saint himself.

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