For map see entry on HGC site << Previous Entry Next Entry >>

Near the west coast at Emba (Paphos district), 3.5 miles (6 km) north of Paphos at 130m a.s.l. The medieval chapel of Saint George Petridia is located nearby. The settlement at Emba is first recorded in Lusignan times [1468: Richard (1983) 96].

Description: The domed cruciform structure in very roughly cut ashlar has a longer west arm and was perhaps erected over an earlier building (the lower part of the south wall is much thicker than the upper, later part, unless the varying thickness is due to the later buttressing). The large semi-circular apse has a curious (later?) synthronon-like structure, with three straight steps and a semi-circular platform in the centre.

Dating: A late 12th century date is suggested by the slightly pointed vaults and the style of the earliest fresco decoration [early 13th century Saint George on the west wall of the north cross arm: MKE 14, 107-8]. Perhaps it was built over a structure which was damaged during the earthquake of c.1160, reported by Neophytos the Recluse to have destroyed fourteen churches in the Paphos region [Delehaye (1907) 211; see also Galatariotou (1991a) 109 and 264].

Later additions / alterations: The domed cruciform western extension and the northeast compartment of the naos were added in the (late?) 13th century (fresco decoration). More decoration was added in the 15th / 16th century (naos dome) and the 19th century [MKE 14, 107-8; Gunnis (1936) 223; Stylianou (1985) 409-13, Stylianou (1996) 1232; Papageorgiou (1968a) 236-37]. The large apse window, bell tower and north door represent later additions and alterations.

Modern repairs: The damage caused by the earthquake of 1953 was repaired in 1953-55 [ARDA 1953, 12, 1954, 13, 1955: 12]. The fresco decoration was consolidated and cleaned in the mid-1960s (naos dome) and 1980s [Papageorgiou (1968a) 237; ARDA 1966, 10, 1980, 20, 1981, 20, 1985, 25, 1986, 24].

Early literature: The structure is most probably to be identified with the church at Emba where a sermon was delivered in the presence of the bishop of Paphos and a large crowd in 1435/36, as reported in a manuscript of 1466 [Constantinides and Browning (1993) 237]. It was briefly mentioned by Jeffery and described by Gunnis, who dated the extension to 1744 [Jeffery (1918) 407; Gunnis (1936) 223].

Plan / section: Soteriou (1935) 39 [the synthronon-like structure in the apse is not shown].