Cypriot church “built by angels” proposed as UNESCO World Heritage site

Kiti, Cyprus, August 17, 2022

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One of Cyprus’ most notable churches, believed to have been built by angels, has been proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Panagia Angeloktisti (“Built by Angels”) Church in the village of Kiti, about 7.5 miles southwest of Larnaca, is home to the Panagia tis Angeloktisti mosaic of the Theotokos and Christ-Child flanked by the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, one of the best-preserved early Christian mosaics in Cyprus. It most likely dates to the late 6th century, under Byzantine Emperor Justin II.

The church has been on the list of tentative UNESCO sites since 2015.

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According to popular tradition, the inhabitants of Kiti moved there to escape Arab raids and decided to build a church in honor of the Theotokos, reports Cyprus Mail.

The present church was built in the 11th century on the ruins of a 5-th century basilica. According to Tradition, people noticed that the foundation of the church was moving during the night, and that an army of angels would come overnight to build the church. Hence the title “Panagia Angeloktisti.”

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