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Nestorian Church

Lying in the western areas of the old city of Famagusta within the walls, the Nestorian Church is one of the interesting spots in the city. It is said to be built by two wealthy Nestorian merchants in 1359. 

Nestorianism is a Christian doctrine advanced by Nestorius (386–450), Patriarch of Constantinople from 428 to 431. In 451,  churches supporting Nestorius left the rest of the Christian Church and many of the supporters moved to the Sasanian Empire, where they joined the local Christian community, known as the Church of the East. Later on, Church of the East became more and more Nestorian in doctrine, causing to it become known as the Nestorian Church.

The church was at first single aisled with a semidome but later two more aisles were added, and two pointed arches were opened. The belfry to the west was supposedly added later. Inside, remaining frescoes depicting saints  are accompanied with inscriptions in Syriac script. 

In 1950s, the church was turned into Greek Orthodox to serve the small Greek Cypriot community in Famagusta, who dedicated the church to Ayios Yeoryios Exorinos (St George the exiler). Legend has it that if you took some dust from this church and take it to your enemy’s house, it would lead to their death or exile in a year. 

The church today is used for Sunday services for the Anglican community of Famagusta.

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