Nicosia Municipality - Saint Kassianos
Saint Kassianos

This church is modern (1854) with many fragments of a more ancient building inserted in its walls. Possibly the central arcade supporting the vaulting of its two aisles may be ancient. This arcade is carried on two circular columns with cushion capitals and between them is a singular looking font on a platform which is said to be used for a ceremony on the festival of the Epiphany. The baldachino of stone over the altar and the iconostasis appear to be of the same date as the modern rebuilding in 1854. There are several ancient icons (traditionally said to have been brought from Ayia Sophia in Constantinople after the Turkish conquest), one of which is of unusually large size. Another is dated 1529. In the narthex amongst other fragments is a small basso-relievo of the Madonna and Child under a canopy, common rustic work of the 15th century. This is the only surviving church in Cyprus dedicated to St. Kassianos.

The church stands close to Chrysaliniotissa church and very near the Green line. It has an 18th-century iconostasis and a number of valuable icons, some of which have been removed to the Byzantine Museum of the Archbishop Makarios Ill Foundation. The bones and scull of St. Cassian, a 4th-century Roman saint, are kept in a golden box in the church. Another treasure of the church is a silver helmet of the saint believed to be miraculous and recommended for those suffering from headaches.

The church is dedicated to St. Cassian the Roman, whose saint day is 29 February and is thus celebrated every four years. St. Cassian the Roman ranks among the leading figures of Orthodox asceticism and is regarded as the founder of monasticism in Western Europe.