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CHURCH OF THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE SAVIOUR IN THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST
2001-12-27 17:12:54

The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transportation and Works, has announced that the Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour in the village of Palaichori has been inscribed in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. The decision to include this important Byzantine Church of the 16th century in the World Heritage List, was taken during the recent 25th session of the World Heritage Committee, which was held in Helsinki, Finland from 11-16 December 2001.

Here below is extract from the World Heritage Committee Press Release, relating to the decision for Cyprus, as well as the list of all Thirteen (13) sites from Cyprus that are now included in the World Heritage List.

FROM UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE NEWS:

"WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE INSCRIBES 31 NEW SITES ON THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST

Helsinki, Finland - 14 December 2001. The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Helsinki since December 11, has inscribed 31 new sites on the World Heritage List. The List now numbers 721 sites of "outstanding universal value" in 124 countries. For the first time, sites in Botswana and Israel appear on the List. The 31 inscriptions this year include six natural sites and 25 cultural sites.

In addition to the 31, six sites already inscribed on the List were extended. The full list may be found on the World Heritage web site at www.unesco.org/whc/heritage.htm.
...
The following are the EXTENSIONS to sites already inscribed on the World Heritage List: CULTURAL PROPERTIES
...
CYPRUS: Painted Churches in the Troodos Region 1985/2001 (extension to include the Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour) (C ii, iii, iv) This region is characterized by one of the largest groups of churches and monasteries of the former Byzantine Empire. The complex of ten monuments included on the World Heritage List, all richly decorated with murals, provides an overview of Byzantine and post-Byzantine painting in Cyprus. They range from small churches whose rural architectural style is in stark contrast to their highly refined decoration, to monasteries such as that of St John Lampadistis."

LIST OF 13 ( THIRTEEN) SITES FROM CYPRUS INCLUDED IN THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST OF UNESCO

Location Information: Two archaeological sites in Paphos

Date Inscribed, Town, Sites, Approxiamate Date

1980, Paphos, Sites of Palaepaphos and Nea Paphos ,from 12th century BC to 5th cent AD

Brief description: Inhabited since the Neolithic Age, Paphos was a site of worship of Aphrodite and prehistoric fertility deities. Aphrodite's legendary birthplace was on this island, where her temple was erected by the Myceneans in the 12th century B.C. The remains of villas, palaces, theatres, fortresses and tombs give the site its exceptional architectural and historic value. The mosaics of Nea Paphos are among the most beautiful in the world.

Location Information: Painted Churches in the Troodos Region, Nicosia and Limassol District; Troodos Region

The World Heritage Committee declared that these churches bear outstanding testimony to Byzantine civilization, that they are well-conserved examples of rural religious architecture and that they provide evidence for the links between eastern and western Christian art.The architecture of these small churches is unique, confined to the Troodos range and almost certainly of indigenous origin. The interior-and in several cases partrs of the exterior- of these churches is decorated with wall paintings, frescoes, which are of exceptional artistic quality.

Date Inscribed, Town, Name of Church, Approximate Date

1985, Kakopetria, Church of Ayios Nikolaos tis Steyis(St. Nicholas of the Roof), 11th cent.

1985, Kalopanayiotis,Ayios Ionannis (St. John)Lambadhistis Monastery, 11th cent.

1985, Nikitari,Church of Panayia (The Virgin) Phorviotissa (Asinou), 12th cent.

1985,Lagoudhera, Church of Panayia (The Virgin)tou Arakou,12th cent

1985,Moutoullas,Church of Panayia (The Virgin) 13th-14th cent.

1985, Pedhoulas, Church of Archangelos Michael (Archangel Michael),15th cent.

1985, Pelendria, Church of Timios Stavros (Holy Cross), 13th-15th cent.

1985, Galata, Church of Panayia (The Virgin) Podhithou, 16th cent.

1985, Platanistasa, Church of Stavros (Holy Cross) Ayiasmati,15th cent.

NEW SITE
2001, Palaichori, Church of Metamorphosis tou Soteros,(the Transfiguration of the Saviour), 16th cent.

Location Information: Neolithic Settlement of Choirokoitia Date of Inscription, Location, Site, Approximate Date

1998, Choirokoitia, Neolithic Settlement of Choirokoitia,7th- 4th mill.BC

Justification for Inscription: Criterion (ii): In the prehistoric period, Cyprus played a key role in the transmission of culture from the Near East to the European world. Criterion (iii): Choirokhoitia is an exceptionally well preserved archaeological site that has provided, and will continue to provide, scientific data of great importance relating to the spread of civilization from Asia to the Mediterranean world. Criterion (iv): Both the excavated remains and the untouched part of Choirokhoitia demonstrate clearly the origins of proto-urban settlement in the Mediterranean region and beyond. Brief description:The Neolithic settlement of Choirokhoitia, occupied from the 7th to the 4th millennium BC, is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the eastern Mediterranean. Its remains and the finds from the excavations there have thrown much light on the evolution of human society in this key region. Only part of the site has been excavated, and so it forms an exceptional archaeological reserve for future study.

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