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 ?
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.
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.
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.
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.