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The City of Famagusta, Cyprus

Akdoğan (Lysi)

Akdoğan is the liveliest of the villages in the Mesarya plain of the Famagusta district. In the centre of the village is a wonderfully exuberant late 19th century Orthodox church, covered in a thick layer of Gothic decoration copied from the great medieval cathedrals of Famagusta and Nicosia. 

The diminutive 14th century shrine of Ayios Ephimianos, 2 km southwest of the village, enjoys a lonely position, shaded by a clump of eucalyptus just above a water course. West of the village, 2 km along the tarmac road to Yiğitler village, there is a distinctive hillock capped with rounded boulders. Halfway down its southern face is an Archaic nympheum, a small natural cave that archaeologists found filled with votive statuettes. It has been romantically identified as the grotto of the Cypriot sibyl, whose holiness is immeasurably increased by approaching it along the lay line taken from the near sacred site of Ayios Ephinanios. From this approach, the silhouette of the sibyl's hill hovers as a visual echo of the Five Finger Mountains on the northern horizon. 

About 4 km further west along this road, the other side of Yiğitler, is the hamlet of Erdemli, the site of Richard the Lion Heart’s victory over Isaac Comnenus. The ruinous church and the buildings on the northern edge are the remains of an 18th century rebuilding of the ancient monastery of St Spyridon. This very Cypriot saint, a shepherd turned local bishop and bulwark of Orthodoxy in the 4th century, lay buried here for a few centuries before being removed to Constantinople. Since the 15th century he has rested on the island of Corfu, of which he is the patron saint.

References

  • Rogerson, B., (1994), Cyprus, Cadogan.
     

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