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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 Panagia Aphendrika and Saint George, near the north coast [on the site see Papacostas (1995) Gazetteer 2].

Description: The now ruinous barrel vaulted pier basilica was built in ashlar over a 5th / 6th-c. three-aisled timber roofed column basilica, incorporating its west wall and the three semi-circular apses (non-bonding masonry). The three parallel barrel vaults were carried by transverse arches on responds, giving a cruciform shape to the piers. The nave vault rose higher but had no clerestory. There are blind arcades along the aisle walls. It is the best preserved example of the pier basilica group [Megaw (1946) 50; MKE 3,78-79]. There are no traces of a narthex [Papageorgiou (1982b) 438-39], although Enlart suggested that one may have existed [Enlart/Hunt (1987) 306; Jeffery (1918) 258].

Dating: A late 7th-9th century date has been suggested [see Panagia Aphendrika].

Modern repairs: Although it was listed as an ancient monument as early as 1914 [RCAM 1914, 1], the debris was not removed from the nave until 1964-66, when a small synthronon, an altar base, chancel screen fragments and a tomb were found in the main apse [AD 20 (1965) 615; BCH 89 (1965) 298-300; ARDA 1966, 9; Papageorgiou (1965a) 94, Papageorgiou (1968a) 8]. A partial reconstruction of the west and east walls and the north aisle (up to 1m50) was undertaken with the use of ashlar blocks recovered from the debris. The door of the south aisle was walled with rubble [ARDA 1972, 13; Papageorgiou (1968a) 8].

Early literature: The site was briefly mentioned by Pococke in 1738 and Hogarth in 1888 [Cobham (1908) 258; Hogarth (1889) 85]. The church was described by Enlart and Jeffery, who calls it ‘Panagia Asomatos’, followed by Gunnis [Enlart/Hunt (1987) 306; Jeffery (1918) 258; Gunnis (1936) 167; also called ‘Taxiarchs’ in Peristianes (1910) 538].

Plan / section: Enlart/Hunt (1987) 306; Soteriou (1935) 7 [both without distinction of building phases]; Megaw (1946) 49 [the synthronon and altar base in the main apse are not shown, while the columns of the original basilica are conjectural].