Situated in the Karpas peninsula, at Aphendrika, 1 mile (1.5 km) west of the ancient site of Urania (Famagusta district), next to the ruined churches of Asomatoi and Saint George, near the north coast [on the site, see Papacostas (1995) Gazetteer 2].
Description: The ruinous barrel vaulted pier basilica was built in ashlar masonry over a destroyed 6th-century timber roofed three-aisled column basilica, incorporating its three semi-circular apses and the outer shell [Megaw (1946) 54]. Some traces of fresco decoration survive [Papageorgiou (1966a) 221].
Dating: The barrel vaulted pier basilica was probably erected in the late 7th-9th century period [Papacostas (1995) 22-23]. A mid-7th century terminus post quem is provided by the column basilica’s likely date of destruction, and the use of piers and vaulting in its successor, while a 10th-century terminus ante quem is suggested by the decline of the use of basilical schemes and the spread of domes by that time. Usually dated to the early medieval period [Papageorgiou (1966a) 221, Papageorgiou (1982a) 470; Wharton (1988) 57, where it is claimed, perhaps by mistake, that the group of vaulted pier basilicas also had domes], although various other dates have been proposed in the past (for the entire group of vaulted pier basilicas), based mainly on historical arguments: 12th century (and the alleged introduction of the Romanesque style from Crusader Syria) [Enlart/Hunt (1987) 304; Jeffery (1918) 257-58; Gunnis (1936) 167]; 6th / 7th century (before the Arab raids) [Soteriou (1931a) 482]; late 10th century (after the reintegration of Cyprus in the Byzantine empire) [Megaw (1946) 54]; 8th / 9th century [Dikigoropoulos (1961) 193]; between the two initial Arab raids of 649 and 653 [Megaw and Hawkins (1977) 31 n.130].
Modern repairs: The debris was removed from the interior in 1964 showing that no recess existed on the north wall (as shown on the plans) and revealing a south chapel [Papageorgiou (1965a) 94-96; BCH 89 (1965) 300].
Early literature: The site was briefly mentioned by Pococke in 1738 [Cobham (1908) 258], the church was described by Enlart and Jeffery [Enlart/Hunt (1987) 305-6; Jeffery (1918) 257-58], and it is also referred to as Panagia Chrysiotissa [Hogarth (1889) 85; Peristianes (1910) 538; Gunnis (1936) 167].
Views: Soteriou (1935) pl. 10a, 11a and 15a [erroneously labelled as ‘St Philon’].