CYPRUS: Historical and Descriptive.
From the earliest times to the present day. New York., 1878
The Cathedral of St. Sophia forms the centre of
attraction in Nikosia. This fine edifice is built in
the Gothic style, and richly decorated; of this ornamentation, only the carved stone-work remains.
The pillared interior of the church is approached
from the portico by three arched portals. The walls
of this noble building are decorated by whitewash,
and, to please the Turkish taste, pillars and capitals
are streaked and daubed with red, green and yellow. Happily the beautiful arched windows are
still framed in rich carving. The base of the bell
tower is adorned with two unusally high minarets.
Close to the Cathedral is the Church of St. Nicholas, with its three noble entrance gates; here all the
niches are charmingly decorated with a living tracery
in the shape of a great variety of stonecrop. The
fine interior of this church is now used as a granary. The Archbishop's chapel is another interesting
building, of which the walls are covered with ancient pictures. The archiepiscopal throne with its
gilding and the handsome altar-screen, are but dimly
seen in the mellow half-light.
As I left the Archiepiscopal chapel, I was met by
a young priest, who brought me a friendly invitation to take a cup of coffee with the Lord Archbishop. I had so much still to see that I felt compelled to decline this courtesy. The young priest
modestly urged that it was the custom for all strangers to pay their respects to his Grace, and that I
should not willingly be the first to decline. My
time only permitted me to make a hurried call,
which fact I, however, since much regretted, as I
afterwards found that the head of the Cyprian
Church is a worthy and distinguished man, who
well deserves his title of.