The church is situated in the Mesaoria plain, at Peristerona (Nicosia district) on the west bank of the Peristerona river at 230m a.s.l. The settlement is attested since the 11th century [Papacostas (1999a) 6.C.78] and the cult of Barnabas and Hilarion since the 15th century [Dawkins (1932) 1.30; Mouriki (1993) 247; see also Kyrris (1996) 80-88].
Description: The large multi-domed three-aisled basilica with heavy pier arcades in roughly cut ashlar has three large domes over the nave (the westernmost has ribs and alternating niches and recessed windows) and one smaller dome over each aisle, the five domes forming a cross. The three semi-circular apses are pierced by three tall arched and recessed windows each, flanked by niches over a continuous horizontal string course [MKE 3,151-52; Papageorgiou (1985a) 326; Wharton (1988) 63-64]. The multi-domed structure was perhaps erected over an earlier basilica [Papageorgiou (1966a) 221; Wharton (1988) 174 n.43; Papageorgiou (1998) 195], although the evidence is unclear.
Dating: A late 11th / first half of 12th century date is suggested by the architecture. The foundation perhaps is related to or is contemporary with the endowment of the village of Peristerona to Kykko monastery [Papacostas (1999a) 6.B.I.48; Papacostas (1995) 39-42]. A 12th-century terminus ante quem is provided by the Virgin and Child fresco panel on the easternmost pier of the north arcade [Stylianou (1963) 245]. The structure has also been ascribed to the 9th / 10th century [Megaw (1974) 82; Wharton (1988) 66-67] or even to the late 10th / early 11th century [Stylianou (1963) 244], although 11th and 12th-century dates have also been suggested in the past [Soteriou (1931b) 733; Papageorgiou (1985a) 326, Papageorgiou (1997) 98 and more recently Chotzakoglou (2005), 531-532]. On the earlier literature concerning the dating of the multi-domed group, see Papacostas (1995) Gazetteer 6.d.
Later additions / alterations: Buttresses were built against the north wall and pointed arches were erected under the transverse nave arches at an unrecorded date [later 12th century according to Enlart (1926) 151]. A bell tower and a narthex were added in the 19th century, when a late medieval tombstone was also found [Gunnis (1936) 378-79; Papageorgiou (1982b) 442].
Modern repairs: In 1959/60 the later masonry around the apses was removed, their external niches were revealed, and the original windows were reopened. Also the south door was reopened, the vaults and the domes were repaired, the plastered interior was resurfaced, new window panels were installed, and a new floor was provided [ARDA 1959, 13, 1960, 11].
Early literature: The church was briefly mentioned by Duthoit in 1862 [Foucart-Borville (1985) 27] and it was described by Millet [Millet (1916) 100]. A crypt was reported in the early 20th century [Jeffery (1918) 283; Enlart (1926) 151].
Views: Enlart (1926) 150 [photo presumably of 1896?]; Soteriou (1935) pl. 20-21b [before the apse repairs]; ARDA 1959, figs. 8-9 [before and after the repairs to the apses]; also shown on the 1862 drawing of the village by Duthoit, who mentions the church in his correspondence [Foucart-Borville (1985) 27].
Plan / section: Enlart (1926) 151 [the aisles are erroneously shown divided in bays by narrow arches carrying the lateral domes, while the later narthex is shown as contemporary with the church]; Soteriou (1935) 15, Soteriou (1940) 407 [both plans, drawn before the repairs, show only one window in each apse; see also Megaw (1936) 270 on Soteriou’s section].