The Church of Ayios Lazaros was built in the 9th century to house the reputed tomb of Lazarus, the man raised from the dead by Jesus. Recontructed in the 17th century, it is the most impressive sight in the town of Larnaca.
The Church of Ayios Lazaros has an open porch, from which steps descend into the church. The porch bears traces of Greek, Latin and French inscriptions.
The graceful bell tower was erected during the 17th century reconstruction, and was one of very few permitted by the Turks before 1857. The Turks generally prohibited such structures out of fear that church bells could be used to summon a rebellion.
The impressive interior consists of a central nave, two aisles, and three domes that are now boarded in. The roof is supported by twin piers topped by reused Byzantine capitals. In one of the piers, steps ascend to an elaborate, 300-year-old Rococo pulpit. The fine iconostasis (18th century) was damaged by the 1970 fire and has been partly restored.
Notable icons in the church include one of the Virgin and Child on the north pier at the crossing; one of St. George and the Dragon (1717); a silver filigree icon of the Raising of Lazarus (1659); and another icon of the Raising of Lazarus in which a spectator is holding his nose at the stench. The silver icon is carried in procession in the presence of the Bishop of Kition on Easter Saturday.
The crypt, accessed by steps that descend from near the southern side of the apse, contains Lazarus' empty marble sarcophagus.
The Church of St Lazarus is the best example of Byzantine architecture in Cyprus.
St Lazarus is the patron saint of Larnaca. At the age of thirty Lazarus became very ill. His sisters Martha and Mary informed Jesus of the seriousness of his illness. He didn't hurry to his bedside and by the time Jesus arrived at Bethany, Lazarus was dead and had been buried for four days. Jesus went straight to his grave, prayed and then shouted.: "Lazarus, come out", Lazarus came out of the grave wrapped with his shroud. He was un-wrapped and returned with Jesus to his house.. This miracle was the reason why the leaders of the Jews decided to assassinate him.
Lazarus went and lived at Kition (Larnaca) for 30 years. There he met the apostles Paul and Barnabas, who ordained him as the first bishop of Kition.
Lazarus died at the age of sixty and was buried in a sarcophagus at Kition with an inscription "The four-day Lazarus, friend of Christ". In 890 AD the emperor of Byzantium Leon VI Sophos transferred Lazarus' remains to Constantinople and in return he built a church at Larnaca devoted to St. Lazarus. The church survives to this day. His body however is now in Marseilles.
The church is very ornate with many icons, an altar and the tomb of Lazarus can be reached down a few steps.
Dont miss the interior of St. Lazarus Churchthe church is mostly open all day long untill 06.00pm and nobody cares, even when you are taking photos with a flash. In Greek-orthodox churches it is also usual to approach the iconostase, some believers even kiss and toucht it, when praying, so it is also no problem to go there close to the icons and make photos from a short distance.
St. Lazarus Church is the most important christian church of Larnaca and you will find it in the very centre of town. Lazarus was the first bishop of Larnaca and under the church you will also see a grotto with a sarcophag that once had the bones of Lazarus inside, but during the crusades they had been taken first to Konstantinopel and finally to Marseille.
The Lazarus-church looks great from outside and will also be lighted at night, but it really makes sense to take also a look inside, see my next tip !
At the corner of Faneromenis and Agiou Lazarou Street is the church of Saint Lazarus, built in the 9th century by Byzantine Emperor Leo, on the site of St. Lazarus' tomb. According to legend, Lazarus travelled to Larnaca after his resurrection, and became the city's first bishop. His tomb is inside the church, under the main altar. The entrance is decorated with a number of icons. The church belltower was built in 1857. The church houses a small museum, containing beautiful samples of Byzantine religious art, including old wood carvings, icons and liturgical utensils.
The Church of Ayios Lazaros is named after the New Testament figure Saint Lazarus of Bethany. The present Church is the result of many renovations over the years after having been built in the 9th century to house the remains of Lazarus. Larnaca became his second home after his resurrection by Christ, and he lived here for another 30 years, his tomb, along with other marble sarcophagi and box - shaped tombs brought to light during excavations, can be seen inside the church crypt. The church was restored in the 17th century.
Monday to Sunday: 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm (April - August),
Monday to Sunday: 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm (September - March)
This beautiful Saint Lazarus church in Larnaca houses the reputed tomb of Lazarus. He was believed to have lived at the ancient Kition for 30 years after his resurrection by Jesus Christ.
It is nice to pay a visit to this Catholic/Orthodox church and have a glimpse of its open porch, the bell tower, and its interior.
The admission is free and open on the following schedule:
April-Aug: daily 8-12:30 & 3:30-6:30
Sept-March: daily 8-12:30 & 2:30-5
The Church of Lazarus, a most amazing Orthodox Church built over the tomb of St. Lazarus, who happened to have been the brother of Mary and Martha, as well as the Patron Saint of Larnaca, where he lived for about 30 years after having been resurrected by Jesus.
Lazarus died in Larnaca and was buried in this place where the church now stands. His tomb, a marble sarcophagus which is visible, bears the inscription "Lazarus the friend of Christ". The church was built over his tomb in the 9th century - and then again restored in the 17th century.
It is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen, a candid white structure with a white ornated belfry, which looks like as if it was made of lace, not stone.
Larnaka’s links with Christianity go back to the very beginning for the town's first bishop was none other than Agios Lazaros, who chose to live his `second life’ there after Jesus had raised him from the dead. This church was built in his name where, it is said that his remains were found.
A very impressive church is that of Agios Lazarus in the middle of the old town of Larnaca.
It has an attached ecclesiastical settlement and a fine collection of icons.
It is said that after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he travelled to Cyprus, and there established the Christian church, becoming the first bishop.
During relatively recent building works to shore up the foundations, a tomb was found underneath the church, said to be that of Lazarus himself. It is now a place of pilgrimage.
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