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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 444

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it owed this distinction to its situation on the hanks of the sea, and the consequent salubrity of its air. Between Ormithia and Avgoron is the convent of S. Nappa (this is the name of the spot, the convent is devoted to the worship of the Virgin). This convent is remarkable for having a large church cut out of a grotto in the rock, bnt as Τ have seen several of these grotto churches, nnd it was two hours out of my road, I did not turn off to visit it. I saw on the road two or three isolated Greek churches, which from the clumsy solidity of their construction, appeared to be of Byzantine date, bnt they were small and insignificant. Tlie distant view of Famagosto, which we firet saw about an hour off, is strikingly pretty. 'Hie rnins in the city, particularly the high one of the chnrch of S. Sophia, the high mountains behind, the cupacions bay, on whose banks stand the city, and the gardens near it, form in their combination a Une coup d'œil. Near the city is a village inhabited by Christians, who ore not excluded from tlie city, but prefer living in the village of which each house has its garden. This village contains about 100 low houses, mostly of mud, but some of stone. I went tu the house of Signer Benediteci, a Greek merchant there, to whom Mr How had promised me a letter, bnt forgot to send it to ine. I did not however feel the want of it, for he received me with the readiest hospitality. I arrived at half part one, and after dinner went with Signor Β. to the city which is about a quarter of an hour N.E. of the village. Famagosto was the strongest place the Venetians had in Cyprus, and was the residence of most of the nobles. Its importance is well attested by its amazing strength. It then contained from 15,000 to 20,000 houses, and Hie extraordinarily disproportionate number of 30Λ churches. Tlie siege was most obstinate and bloody, and at last want of provisions only caused its fall, tt was accordingly most terribly battered in the attack, and its ruin Avas completed by an earthquake (to which this part of the island, I am told, is very subject) in 1735. The walls, which remain uninjured, are immensely thick nnd strong, and are fortified by a fosse, in many parts hewn from the rock, about eighty feet wide and twenty-five deep, into which the sea was formerly admitted, bnt it is now dry. The only gate is defended by a drawbridge and portcullis. Three yew* ago the Turks would allow uo Christian to enter it but on footj but they have lately abated this insolence, though I wns assured that 1 should have found a difficulty in riding in if I had not had a janizary with me. From the gate to the port there is a subterraneous passage which the Turks leave nnexplored. I rode through streets of levelled palaces, choked up with ruins and rubbish to the house of the Agha, of whicli one half was choked up by the fallen stones of the other. He was a meanly dressed Turk, who received me very civilly, and sent a chawnsh with ine to show ine the place. I first entered the principal church of S. Sophia, now converted into a mosque, and surmounted by a broken minaret. It is very large, and built iu the Uothick style, mixed with Venetian ornament, the arches of the door and window being overtopped by a large triangle sculptured in high relief. I found a small stone nt the door with a Greek inscription, of which I made ont some words. [See Boecleh. C. I. Ko. 3634.} The interior, which is about 120 feet by 90, and about SO high, is disposed in three aisles, divided by thick round columns, which rise into arches. The windows were neatly fretted, and a recess for tho altar was made at the top of the middle aisle. As is usual iu Turkish mosques its walls are now entirely naked, ami it is famished only with a few lamps and mats, and α small pulpit. On the floor are a few tombs with inscriptions written in a language which, though to me illegible, I believe to be Gothick...Frum S. Sophia I walked to the citadel, which is nt the eastern extremity of the city on the seashore, and is immensely strong, being enrronuded by tlie thickest wall, and defended by a separate fosse, a drawbridge and portcullis. Over the entrance were the arms of Venice (which are very frequent in the 434 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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