Pictures from the restoration of the Church of Agios Synesios in Rizokarpasso

The Acting co-chairman of the Sotos Ktoris Cultural Heritage Inter-Community Technical Committee announced the completion of the work on the MKKD.

The maintenance and restoration works of the church of Agios Synesios in Rizokarpasos have been completed. A monument of significant historical value, the eastern part of the church dates back to the 12th century AD, but also a point of reference for Rizokarpasites everywhere. The project was implemented with the financial assistance of the Church of Cyprus, while a smaller part of the cost was covered by the European Commission. The responsibility for the implementation of the project was assumed by UNDP.

The church of Agios Synesios is located in the center of Rizokarpason village. It has internal dimensions of 18.50X9 m. today. However, its current form is due to the expansion of the church to the west around the end of the 19th century, during the reign of Archbishop of Cyprus Sofroniou. Today the church of Agios Synesios consists of two consecutive inscribed cruciform churches with a dome. The original church is the eastern part and originally had dimensions of approximately 9X9 m. Both the central arch and the north arch are semi-circular both internally and externally. The southern arch was demolished at the beginning of the 20th century to build the bell tower.

The dome of the original church is cylindrical and has four windows at the four points of the horizon. It rests on the junction of the arches of the cross which are semi-cylindrical. Four strong piers support the arches and the dome in the center of the church. Both on the north and south walls of the church there are blind arches that break the monotony of the outer surfaces of the walls, as in the church of Agios Filonos on the beach of Rizokarpasos. The apses are decorated with blind arches like the apses of the church of Agios Filonos and Agios Barnabas and Hilarionos in Peristerona. The present window in the center of the arch is newer, as are the other windows in the church. The morphological elements of the church support its dating to the 12th century. When the west part of the church was added to the west in the late 19th century, the west wall of the church was demolished, the original south door closed and another opened in the south-west compartment of the original church. Then all three windows of the central arch were bricked up and the large rectangular window was opened and the original stonework was covered externally with plaster. There are no frescoes preserved in the interior.

The iconostasis and the icons of the church were built in more recent years.

Anastassis Georgiou celebrates 100th Birthday

Anastassis Georgiou is a loyal supporter of the Association of Rizokarpasso UK and a real credit to Rizokarpasso.  He has never missed an Association Summer Outing, Dinner & Dance or General Meeting and he has always been present at demonstrations and rallies in support of  justice for Cyprus and an end to the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus.  He is a truly patriotic, outstanding, much loved and highly respected gentleman.  It was an honour to celebrate with Anastassis his 100th birthday together with his family and friends.

Association of Rizokarpasso presents for enclaved schoolchildren

Once again, the Association of Rizokarpasso is giving Christmas presents to the enclaved children in Rizokarpasso

On Saturday 19 November, the President of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain, Mary Karaolis, delivered individual Christmas cards for each of the 42 enclaved school children in Rizokarpasso to the Presidential Commissioner, Mr Photis Photiou, at St Demetrios Church. Each card contained a €50 gift from the Association. Mr Photiou will be visiting the Rizokarpasso Schools and giving the school children their presents, on behalf of the Association, in December.

The Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain was established in 1975 to respond to the then many needs of the enclaved people in Rizokarpasso following the Turkish invasion of 1974. Since 2005 the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain has been sending each enclaved schoolchild in Rizokarpasso a Christmas gift of €50 and a Christmas card.  The names of the children are obtained from the Ministry of Education in Cyprus via the Cyprus High Commission in London who also arrange for the Christmas cards containing the presents to be delivered to the school children in Rizokarpasso. 

In 2005 there were 61 enclaved schoolchildren In Rizokarpasso (15 Nursery; 13 Demotiko; 33 Gymnasion).  This year there are 42 schoolchildren (9 Nursery; 16 Demotiko; 17 Gymnasion). Currently there are approximately 250 enclaved Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpasso, which is significantly lower than the 4000 in 1974. The illegal regime requires that the teachers and books that are allowed in the Rizokarpasso schools be approved by the illegal regime; these restrictions and many others, make the experiences, and life in general, for the enclaved school children very different to that of schoolchildren elsewhere in Cyprus.  We are very proud of our enclaved compatriots in Rizokarpasso whose presence, despite their numerous difficulties, ensures that our cultural and religious heritage remains alive in Rizokarpasso.