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Notre Dame de Tyre

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Notre Dame de Tyre is a 14th century monastery in Nicosia, Cyprus.

The existing building is Gothic in style and consists of a square nave, with a semi-octagonal apse, cross vaults an arch covering the western part , a bell tower, and convent buildings to the north of the church. To the east of the nunnery buildings is the sarcophagus of Lady Dampierre, the Abbess of the nunnery. On the church floor are tombstones dating from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Although the monastery is damaged, and now part of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus since 1974, it has been selected for preservation and restoration as it provides an opportunity to preserve a site of historical and cultural significance. It is expected that the renovation will be complete by 2013. [1]

History

It is believed that the original church, known as the Benedictine Abbey of Our Lady of Tyre, was founded in the 8th Century as a principal convent following the fall of Jerusalem.

In the 14th century, the Lusignan king, Henry II of Jerusalem, repaired the church.

In the 16th century the keeping of the Paphos Gate, the church, and the surrounding area were handed over to the Armenians by Sultan Selim II. [2]

In the 1920s the Melikian family restored the church, and built a nursery and primary school on the grounds.

In 1963, Nicosia was divided and the church found itself on the border. The church was trashed and squatters moved in, causing further damage. In 2000, the area was sealed off and architects, historians and a committee met with Artin Melikian to discuss renovation and refurbishment. [3]

References

The Armenians of Cyprus [4]

  1. http://www.whatson-northcyprus.com/interest/nicosia/north_nicosia/armenian_church.htm
  2. http://www.scribd.com/doc/21770562/The-Armenians-of-Cyprus
  3. http://www.scribd.com/doc/21770562/The-Armenians-of-Cyprus
  4. http://www.cyprus.gov.cy/moi/PIO/PIO.nsf/All/DBF419D7DF6CC18EC2256FCE00331E37?OpenDocument

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