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A Visit to the Ecclesiastical Museum
A Visit to the Ecclesiastical Museum
A Visit to the Ecclesiastical Museum
A Visit to the Ecclesiastical Museum
 
A Visit to the Ecclesiastical Museum
10/09/2019
Pafos played an important role in the spread of Christianity: Saint Paul and Saint Bartholomew visited in 45 CE and converted Roman proconsul Sergius Paulus, making Cyprus the first area in the Roman Empire to be overseen by a Christian. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Bishopric of Pafos possesses a rich trove of art and artefacts documenting the history of Christianity in the region. This collection is housed in the Ecclesiastical Museum of Pafos in the village of Geroskipou. Recently expanded to include the contents of the Byzantine Museum (formerly housed in the Bishop’s palace), the museum holds over one hundred icons collected from chapels throughout the diocese. Among these is the oldest known icon in Cyprus, a portrait of Saint Marina with scenes of her martyrdom dating to the seventh or eighth century; on its reverse is a thirteenth-century icon of Saint George. One gallery features a complete iconostasis—a screen bearing icons that separates the sanctuary from the nave—from the seventeenth century. Among the oldest items on display are a wine pitcher, a pot, and oil lamps crafted in metal in the fifth and sixth centuries. The collection includes wall paintings, wood carvings, and vestments for clerics. You can see a fifteenth-century manuscript of the gospels, a seventeenth-century printing of the Bible, and Ottoman documents. Items in the half-dozen galleries are marked by signage in Greek and English; the museum’s shop offers gallery guidebooks in several languages along with other books and icons.