WIT Press

St. Dominic Church Waiting To Be Explored In The Old Town Of Famagusta


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WIT Press


A. Atun


The names and identities of the Antique Monuments, in the old town of Famagusta, Cyprus, are determined according to historical documents or word of mouth. Most of the time, due to lack of official records or original documents, names originating from history were adopted. Within the city walls of Old town, the name \“Ayia Photou Church” is given to two side-by-side antique monuments, 20 m. apart, which are both now in ruins. These two ruins are situated in the northeast sector of the town and are very close to the midpoint of Torrion del Diamante (Karpaz Tabya) and Torrion del Mozzo (Köpük Kulesi). According to my intense research, the name of the antique monument on the south should be \“Ayia Photou Church” and the name of antique monument on the north should be \“St. Dominic Church”. In Famagusta, once a very rich town of Medieval times, were two Bishoprics and seven churches of different [Christian] religious orders. One of them was the famous \“St. Dominic Church” of the Franciscan order. In the gravure of Stephan Gibellino, dated 1571 named \“Citta di Famagosta”, the \“St. Dominic Church” was clearly drawn with the belfry and back-garden encircled with high walls and marked with No.5 and footnoted as \“St. Dominic Church”. It was located on the northeast part of the town, close to the midpoint of Torrion del Diamante and Torrion del Mozzo. On the east part of the church, the hippodrome \“loro di trar al palio” was drawn, until the 1950’s this area served a similar purpose. Unfortunately the \“St. Dominic Church” suddenly disappeared from the papers, documents, registries, records, archives and even from memories after the conquest of the town by the Ottomans in 1571 although the Ottomans tried their best to preserve the antique monuments of the Christian religion for almost 300 years and handed over the town to the British in 1878, the same as it was in 1571.