Icon Museum in Archangelos Michael
By Chris Elliott……
This Kyrenia church first built in 1860 on the site of a tower that was part of the old Kyrenia town wall. It was first used as an icon museum in June 1990 and refurbished during 2004 by the Department of Antiquities and Museums.
I love the prospect of learning about history of Kyrenia and one of my projects was to visit the icon museum in “Archangel Michael Church” which was built in 1860 on the site of a tower that was part of the old Kyrenia town wall. Some years later it was finished with a bell tower being added during the final years of the Ottoman rule of Cyprus. This church was first used as an icon museum in June 1990 and refurbished during 2004 by the Department of Antiquities and Museums.
To visit this museum you can climb the steps opposite the Roman tombs in Cambulat Sokak which is just up the steps from the sea shore by Hotel Liman. If you have more time it’s far more interesting and intriguing to wander through the lanes from the old Round Tower in Ziya Rizki Caddesi into an ancient area and see the church through the small archway opposite.
Entering the building you see a fine collection of icons some of which belong here and others that have been brought to this location and protected by the Department of Antiquities and Museums. They are a fine tribute to the icons that were made mainly during the early 19th century or later and there is a very precious example of an icon that dates from 1714 AD.
There are also some ancient bibles plus an ornamental staff on display and nearby we see a fine iconostasis complete with its icons and topped by a splendid crowning feature. The beauty of the items displayed in this museum are just breathtaking and a visit here should go on your list of things to do.
There are many vague stories around of ancient treasures being neglected, lost or mistreated here in Cyprus but this is a good example of the sincere efforts being made to preserve the heritage of this country irrespective of religious identities for future generations to admire.
My thanks go to the Department of Antiquities and Museums for the information provided and permission to take and share these photographs with you.