Located near the south coast, at the north edge of the village of Kiti (in the Larnaca district). The settlement at Kiti is perhaps mentioned in medieval sources [Papacostas (1999a) 6.C.39].
Description: The fairly large domed pier cross-in-square structure with tall proportions, longer west arm and longitudinally barrel vaulted compartments, without lateral apses or intercalary bays, incorporates the main apse with synthronon of a late antique (5th century?) basilica [MKE 1, 49-50]. The latter was rebuilt as a timber roofed pier basilica after a fire in the late 6th or 7th century [the bases of the easternmost piers were discovered in 1959: BCH 84 (1960) 295-97; Dikigoropoulos (1961) 186-205; Megaw and Hawkins (1977) 31, n.127]. The conch is decorated with the well known mosaic of the Virgin and Child flanked by Angels, which is clearly dated after the first restoration [Megaw (1960) 350-51, Megaw (1974) 74-76, Megaw (1985b) 191], although it is unclear whether from before or after the Arab raids [other dates suggested for the mosaic: 5th / 6th century: Smirnov; 9th century: Gunnis (1936) 272-73; 11th-13th century: Enlart/Hunt (1987) 334-35; Jeffery (1918) 185-87 and 261, Jeffery (1935) 3].
Dating: The cross-in-square church has been attributed to the 11th century [Stylianou (1985) 49-51; MKE 1, 49-50]. A terminus ante quem is provided by the fresco decoration on the crossing piers (13th century) and the addition of the north chapel in the late 12th century [Saints Cosmas and Damian], the semi-circular arches and the barrel vaults (pre or mid 12th-century) as well as the apse wall fresco decoration (late 11th / early 12th century) [Papageorgiou (1965b) 9-10; Soteriou suggests a 10th-century date: Soteriou (1931b) 735].
Later additions / alterations: The chapel of Saints Cosmas and Damian was added to the north in the 12th century In the late 13th / early 14th century a rib-vaulted chapel was added to the south [Enlart/Hunt (1987) 334-35; Papageorgiou (1969) 221; MKE 1, 49-50]. In the 19th century a western extension was built and in the early 20th a room was erected to the north of the north cross arm, linking it with the Saints Cosmas and Damian chapel [Papageorgiou (1969) 218-21]. The arches under the dome and the apse arch were strengthened at an unrecorded date.
Modern repairs: In the 1950s the apse was repaired: the mosaic was cleaned by E. Hawkins, the later low arch concealing the mosaic border was removed, the original apse wall was revealed behind the later external additions, the conch roof was repaired and tiled, and the apse window was opened in its full dimensions. The later west extension was repaired and a large window was opened on the west gable. Moreover the west cross arm vault was rebuilt, the dome was repaired revealing traces of a Pantokrator fresco, the underpinning arches under the dome were removed also revealing frescoes, including a late 12th / early 13th century Baptist panel on the east face of the northwest pier with a donor inscription: δέησις τ(οῦ) [δούλου τοῦ] θε](οῦ) Λέοντος; Leo’s surname ‘Aniphantari’, reported in the 1950s/60s, is no longer visible [BCH 84 (1960) 295-97; Papageorgiou (1968a) 233-35; Stylianou (1985) 51]. All the interior surfaces were plastered, the floor paving was replaced, and the blocked window on the north wall of the northeast compartment was re-opened [AR 1952,137; BCH 84 (1960) 295-97; ARDA 1952, 10, 1953, 9-10, 1954, 11, 1955, 10, 1958, 13, 1959, 14]. In the 1970s the apse frescoes were consolidated, the plaster was removed from the dome revealing its full fresco programme (the Pantokrator is surrounded by a zone with angels in medallions and, further down between the windows, the Virgin with prophets), and the earlier layer under the Baptist panel was removed, while the vaults and dome were covered with tiles [ARDA 1972, 14, 1973, 16, 1975, 18, 1979, 18].
Early literature: Mariti in the 1760s mentioned the church with its mosaic [Cobham (1909) 79]. The monument first attracted attention in the second half of the 19th century because of the apse mosaic, mentioned by Duthoit (1862) and described by Smirnov (1895) [Foucart-Borville (1985) 15; Smirnov (1897); Enlart/Hunt (1987) 334-35].
Views: Soteriou (1935) pl. 28 and 29a [before the restoration].
Plan / section: Jeffery (1915/16) 121 [incomplete]; Soteriou (1935) 25 [the late masonry strengthening the dome piers and the room north of the north cross arm linking the church to the north chapel which are shown on the plan have now been removed. The semi-circular niche in the east wall of the nort-east compartment and two (later) windows flanking the door of the south wall opening into the Gothic chapel (shown on Jeffery’s plan) are omitted from Soteriou’s plan].