The temple that was built in Limassol, after the Vatican’s orders!

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An impressive building with a unique façade and architecture is located on the coastal front of the city for the past century. Having become a piece of Limassol life, with thousands of people passing in front of it daily, the Catholic church of Saint Catherine, or Frangoklissia, as it is called, is one of the oldest temples in the city, built according to orders from the Vatican.

The history of the church begins in 1872, when the Ottomans gave permission to the Franciscans for the construction of a Catholic temple, upon their permanent settlement in the city. The Ottomans, however, during the construction of the temple, saw its great size and grandeur and immediately demanded that the work in progress be stopped.

The building of the church remained stagnant, until the Vatican’s intervention forced the Ottomans to retreat and allow the continuation of the building. Thus, Saint Catherine’s Catholic Church was completed in 1879, 7 years after its initial construction.

The temple, distinguished for its Renaissance elements and intense Baroque style, consists of 3 parts, with a special interior decoration and 2 bell towers. The church was renovated in 1979, when an impressive mural of 80 sq.m decorated the space behind the sanctuary with figures of saints. Right behind the temple is the Franciscan Monastery of Limassol, a simple building with arches and big gardens.


Source of information: Tasos Andreou, "Limassol - Flashback", 2009
Photos: Pattichion Municipal Museum - Historical Archive - Limassol Study Centre

* NOTE: The tributes of the Project "History of Limassol" present information that has emerged from historical research thus far. Any new data is embedded into the tributes, once it has been confirmed.