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Lysi

Lysi
Λύση (Greek) Akdoğan (Turkish)

Church of Panagia in Lysi
Lysi
Lysi
Location in Cyprus

Coordinates: 35°6′19″N 33°40′52″E / 35.10528°N 33.68111°E / 35.10528; 33.68111Coordinates: 35°6′19″N 33°40′52″E / 35.10528°N 33.68111°E / 35.10528; 33.68111

Country De jure  Cyprus
De facto  Northern Cyprus
District De jure Famagusta District
De facto Gazimağusa District
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)


Lysi (Greek: Λύση, Turkish: Akdoğan is a village located in the Mesaoria plain of the Famagusta district of Cyprus, north of the city of Larnaca.

In 1960, there were 3,700 Greek Cypriots living in the village and approximately 6,000 in 1974 when they all fled (August 1974) because of the Turkish invasion and occupation of the north part of Cyprus. Lysi falls within the area of Cyprus which the Turkish army has illegally being occupying until now (2011). Today there are only Turks living in Lysi who occupied the houses of the Greek Cypriots who fled during the invasion. Some of Turks living in Lysi today are settlers from mainland Turkey brought by the illegal Turkish Cypriot authority established after the occupation in order to change the demography of the island, while others are Turkish Cypriots from other villages in Cyprus who moved to Lysi and occupied better and bigger houses that the Greek Cypriots left behind. The town today functions as a Turkish garrison town.[1]

In the centre of the village there is a late 19th century Greek Orthodox church, covered in a thick layer of Gothic decoration copied from the great medieval cathedrals of Famagusta and Nicosia. The church was build by the inhabitants of Lysi who volunteered their work over several years. After the Turkish occupation of Lysi the church was looted, all its Christian icons and other Christian interior decorations were removed and was turned into a moque. Today it functions as a mosque.

The diminutive 14th-century church of St. Evphemianos, 2 km southwest of the village, enjoys a lonely position, shaded by a clump of eucalyptus just above a water course. This small church depicted some of the most beautiful and well preserved Byzantine mosaics found on the island of Cyprus. The walls and dome of the church were illegally removed by the Turkish occupiers of Lysi who sold them on the black market. The mosaics were purchased by the Menil Foundation in Texas, USA on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus and have been on long-term loan to the Menil ever since. The loan agreement comes to an end in February 2012, after which time the works will be Pentadaktylos mountains on the northern horizon.

About 4 km further west along this road, the other side of Arsos, is the hamlet of Tremetousia, the site of Richard the Lion Heart’s victory over Isaac Comnenus. The ruinous church and the buildings on the northern edge are the remains of an 18th-century rebuilding of the ancient monastery of St Spyridon. This very Cypriot saint, a shepherd turned local bishop and bulwark of Orthodoxy in the 4th century, lay buried here for a few centuries before being removed to Constantinople. Since the 15th century he has rested on the island of Corfu, of which he is the patron saint.

References

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