Heritage

Cyprusscene reader asks about Ozanköy church


By Chris Elliott……..

 

Our reader Susan Gilbert asks:

“I live in Ozanköy. There is a small Greek church next to the Ozanköy Sport Club…is there a source of information about this church ??

Is there anyone or society interested at looking inside it to look at repair or restoration ?

Many thanks”

ozankoy-church-2016

Firstly let’s look at the location of this church which is in Ozanköy or Kazafani which is one of the mountain villages that the former Latin inhabitants of Kyrenia Castle were forced into following the Ottoman Conquest of the island. From the village there is a road and then path leading up to Bellapais Village  and Abbey which is known as the Crusader path click here.

Ozanköy Church like many other ancient buildings in Northern Cyprus may be in the care of  the Vakiflar Foundation (Evkaf) click here. A further source of information may be found at the National Archives (Milli Arşiv) in Girne click here and the staff there are very helpful.

ozankoy-church-1

On impulse I drove through the centre of the village a couple of days ago and stopped to take some fresh photographs of the church and was delighted to find the blue doors were open and when I went inside I found it still contains most of the church furniture and it had a wooden staircase leading up to a gallery plus the other church furniture including a ceremonial chair and iconostasis complete with one  icon and this was topped by a splendid crowning cross feature. Both the interior and exterior were very well cared for despite the very common flaking of plaster and paint found in both old and even new buildings in Cyprus.

ozankoy-church-2

From what I can gather, the Ozanköy Sport Club are the key holders and clean the interior on a regular basis as I had the luck to discover that day.

As to who is the owner of this church I do not know, and if our readers would like to share their knowledge of when this church was built and its history below in the comment boxes I am sure other readers will be most appreciative and find it to be very interesting.

ozankoy-church-4

Perhaps there are some readers who have a passion for discovering and preserving the heritage of Cyprus that would like to form a group and publish their reviews here on our pages and we will be delighted to hear from you.

 

4 replies »

  1. Today officials came to the village to inspect and consider costs/works required for restoration of this church. I was informed that original frescos hAve been painted over so some specialist work would be involved to uncover these.

    Developments will be published in Cyprus Today in due course I believe

    • Thank you to Gillian, I believe, for your comment and information and perhaps you would like to share with us details of who are the authorities who have inspected the church and may be planning restoration. Please inbox cyprusscene with this information if you prefer.

      Having visited the church in the past few days it was apparent that only a very small portion of potential frescos have not been both plastered and painted over so if the plan is to strip the church back to its original decoration state this will be a very big and costly project.

      You may care to read our review of Antiphonitis Church near Esentepe and also see the beauty of the church which has been preserved with its many fine frescos and cared for by the TRNC Antiquities and Museums Department click here

      If the Ozankoy church has frescos like the Esentepe church, it will be a treasure trove for sure.

      It’s good to know the newspaper Cyprus Today may be publishing news of this in due but that potential readership will be mainly in North Cyprus and then off the shelf whereas by using all of the media now available including cyprusscene and its media partners this subject can be promoted around the world and once done so, the information is there for anyone that care so search for it in the future and then they may share their knowledge of Ozankoy church as well.

  2. The beautiful little church in Doğanköy (Thermeia) has been restored with the help of the Community Association – is there a similar group in Ozanköy (Kazpahani)?

    • We don’t know Kathy but will try to find out. In the past the village had a very high profile with a flower festival being held for a number ot years.

      Perhaps other readers will offer more information.

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