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Friday, January 11, 2019

Church of Saint Theodosios the Cenobiarch in Acheleia of Paphos

Acheleia is a village in the Paphos District of Cyprus, located near to Paphos International Airport. South of the village, about 200–300 meters outside the community, stands the small Church of Saint Theodosios the Cenobiarch. It is a simple country church of the Byzantine style shaped like an equal-armed cross with a dome in the middle.

Externally it is made of stone, the external wall being up to a meter thick. It is built at a level lower than that of the ground (one meter) and it is enclosed by a low, stone-made wall that is two feet tall. Although the building was constructed many years ago, around the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century, it does present some interest regarding its interior.

The small church appears to be decorated with frescoes. The iconography is characterized by its schematization and by being monochrome. The frescoes are of the 13th century and, naturally, through the years some of them are worn out. Among those preserved are that of the founder of the church as well as a dead youth, which may be the reason behind the construction. Its icon screen is woodcut and it is completed by the holy icons. It can accommodate fifty to a hundred faithful. A liturgy takes place in the small church 3–4 times a year.

The community of Acheleia celebrates the memory of Saint Theodosios on the 11th of January with his Holy Icon being carried about in procession.

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