Bogaz | Famagusta | Nicosia | Kyrenia |Guzelyurt (Morfhou) | Karpaz


On the way to Karpas from Famagusta, the largest settlement in the area is Iskele (Trikomo). The town is mainly inhabited by the Turkish-Cypriot refugees from Larnaca (now in south Cyprus) who relocated to here after 1974. 

The quaint 15th century Byzantine church of St. Jacob (Ayios Iakovos) dominates the center of the town. Iskele icon museum is another main attraction in the town. Inaugurated in 1991, the 12th century church of Panagina Theotokos (Blessed Virgin Mary) is preserved by the Department of Antiquities and Museums as the icon museum. 



A castle belonging to the town, rock tombs, a temple, and a harbour which is now full have been found as a result of excavations carried out in the region. The town was one of the six important towns of Cyprus in the 2nd century B.C.. There are three churches close to Aphendrika: Saint Georgios, Panaya Chrysiotissa and Panaya Asomatos. Saint Georgios is a single-domed church with a two-part apsis built in the 10th century. Panaya Chrysiotissa was constructed in the 6th century. It was renewed at the end of the 10th century as it had been destroyed as a result of Arab raids. The wooden ceiling was replaced with a tunnel-vaulted one. The church was destroyed once again during the middle ages and was reconstructed for the last time in the 16th century. The one in the best condition of these three churches is the Panaya Asomatos church built in the 6th century. This church too was reconstructed in the 10th century as it was destroyed during the Arab raids.

Icon Museum of Iskele

The main church of the village of Trikomo was built in XII. century on a single platform and a single dome, the side walls have indented arches. This type of Cypriot church can be seen from XII. century onwards. A northern vault and platform was added to the building in XV. Century, the additions were added at the later date. The church was completely resorted in 1804. The modern bell-tower with engraved marble panels situated in the north-east corner, was most probably taken from ab original iconanststen banister. Most of the XII. century wall paintings are presently being preserved, the paintings were restored in 1966, the upper parts of the vaults were replastered, the indents of the southern wall displaying paintings from XII. century were discovered in November 1967. After the restoration by there TRNC Department of Antiquities and Museums, the church was opened after "World Museum Day" an 23rd May 1991 under the tittle of Icon Museum of Iskele.

The Apostolos Andreas Monastery

The monastery, situated on the point known as the Cape of Saint Andrea, is dedicated to Saint Andrew (Apostle Andreas). Information about the saint whom the monastery has been named after comes from the holy books. As he was the first person to be called for induction to priesthood by Christ, his title was "O Protoklitos" meaning, "the one first called". The room under the modern church in which there are wells containing drinking water is thought to have been a chapel belonging to the old monastery buildings. On the bust in the courtyard of the monastery the monastery is stated to have been built by Pope Ionnis Oicoromus. Both Turks and Greeks consider the monastery a holy place; it is visited by many people for votive prayers. The contents of the monastery are also noteworthy.

The Aya Trias Basilica

The Basilica dates back to the 6th century A.D. Probably because it was destroyed in mid-7th century, a small church and some annexes were added to its southern flank. As these buildings were destroyed in the ninth and tenth centuries A.D., this settlement was not used any more. The basilica has three sections: to the west is the exterior, atrium; to the southeast are the annexes and the baptistery. The floor is covered with mosaics with motifs of geometric shapes, leaves and crosses. It is recorded in the inscription on the mosaics that they were made by Heraclos, one of the assistants of the priest.

The Ayios Philon Church

It has been constructed on ruins dating from the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Philon is the saint who converted the people of Karpaz to Christianity in the 4th century. The church comprises a three-part apsis and a courtyard surrounded with columns. There are colourful mosaics on the floor. A domed church was built in the 12th century on the ruins of the old building destroyed by the Arab pirates. It also has a cistern and a baptising room. The region it is in, is the vicinity of the town of Karpasia in the Phoenician period.

The Kantara Castle

The easternmost of the three castles on the Kyrenia mountains, the Kantara castle, is about 700 metres above sea level and is well positioned to control the entrance to the Karpaz peninsula and The Mesaria plain. Although it is thought to have been constructed by the Byzantines following the Arab raids on the island like the other two castles, St. Hilarion and Buffavento, the written sources only make a mention of the castle in the year 1191, when Richard Lion-Heart captured the island. When the impostor king of Cyprus Isac Comnen is defeated by the former Palestine King, Guy de Lusignan, who submits to Richard Lion-Heart, he takes refuge in this castle. He gets caught while trying to escape in the Karpaz region. In the Lusignan and Venetian periods frequent mention of the castle is made. The castle is involved in many battles in this period. Although the Genoese conquer Nicosia and Famagusta in 1373, the castle stays in the hands of the supporters of the King of Cyprus, Peter I. It is known that, when the king’s brother, Prince John, escapes from captivity in the hands of the Genoese, he takes refuge in the castle. The castle is surrounded with walls by King James in 1391. After the Venetians gain control of the island, like other castles away from the sea, this castle too loses its importance. The castle has sections like a defence line, dormitories, a cistern, vaulted rooms, and a signal tower.


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