In the ancient / late antique / medieval coastal city of Kyrenia (Kyrenia district), within the northwest bastion of the medieval fortress. Kyrenia was an episcopal see from Late Antiquity through the medieval period and the city and its port are mentioned in middle Byzantine and later sources [Papacostas (1995) Gazetteer 8; on bishops, see also Gouillard (1967) 112 and 276-77].
Description: The small domed four-column cross-in-square structure was built in ashlar and remains the only surviving example of the (four-column) type on Cyprus. The columns and capitals are late antique spolia made of imported marble, as are the crustae of the opus sectile floor, perhaps reused from an earlier building on the site or possibly taken from the basilica at Pano Kyrenia [Megaw (n.d.) 4; MKE 4, 51-52]. The main semi-circular apse is flanked by inscribed apses in the east compartments. Traces of fresco decoration are preserved [MKE 4, 51-52; Papageorgiou (1965a) 299-300]. The (later?) narthex was revealed during repairs in the 1930s [RDAC 1937-39, 194].
Later additions / alterations: The chapel was used for burials in the late medieval period [Jeffery (1907a) 26, Jeffery (1918) 313]. The original dome was removed, platforms were built over the vaults, and the narthex was filled with masonry during the Venetian period when the new northwest bastion of the fortress enveloped the chapel; until then the latter was standing just outside the Byzantine / Lusignan fortification [Papacostas (1995) Gazetteer 8.e; plan of 13th-century castle in Jeffery (1933) 24-34]. The dome may have been rebuilt subsequently, as it is alluded to by 19th-century visitors, although the church was roofless by the early 20th century At some unrecorded date the northwest column was replaced by a wall. In the early 20th century, after 1910 and before the 1930s, a brick dome was erected [Enlart/Hunt (1987) 425; Peristianes (1910) 38-39; Gunnis (1936) 126].
Modern repairs: In 1938 the Venetian filling behind the apse and the west part were removed revealing the narthex [RDAC 1937-39, 194]. In the early 1950s the wall in the place of the lost northwest column was replaced by a column brought from Nicosia and a capital from the castle precinct, the modern brick dome was replaced by a stone dome (with eight recessed windows, presumably inspired by the domes at Antiphonetes and Trikomo) and the roof was resurfaced [ARDA 1950, 12, 1951, 13, 1954, 14].
Early literature: A ‘chapele de Sainct Jorge du Donjon’ in Kyrenia is mentioned in a will of 1406 [Mas Latrie (1874) 123; Enlart/Hunt (1987) 425]. A ‘Capelle mit vier Marmorsäulen’, apparently still intact, was seen by Ross in 1845 [Ross (1852) 145]; Duthoit in 1865 mentions the domed church with its columns in white marble and ancient capitals [Bonato (2001) 222], but the dome had collapsed by the early 20th century [Peristianes (1910) 38-39]. According to Jeffery, the present church is a 16th-century rebuilding of the original structure [Jeffery (1907a) 26, Jeffery (1918) 313, Jeffery (1932) 8].
Views: Soteriou (1935) pl. 23a [the interior before the restoration]; Müller-Wiener (1966) pl. 135 [restored interior]; Megaw (n.d.) 15 [reconstructed dome]; Michaelides (1993) 113 [opus sectile floor].