The old city of Nicosia is home to the oldest Byzantine church built within the Venetian walls. Panayia Chrysaliniotissa, Our Lady of Golden Flax, boasts a rich collection of rare icons inside its stone structure with flowing arcs within a blossoming garden.
The church was originally built by Queen Helen Palaeologina in 1450 to strengthen the Greek Orthodox presence on the island during the rule of the Lusignans.
Queen Helen was largely responsible for the revival of Greek influence in Cyprus due to the numerous members of the Byzantine court who arrived in her wake and were given positions at the Lusignan court. This led to a renewal of ties with the Byzantine Empire. After the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, she welcomed and gave assistance to many Byzantine refugees who had fled to Cyprus.
The church is located on Chrysaliniotissa Street, just a short walk from Nicosia’s Famagusta Gate in the eastern part of the city.