Church of Timios Stavros (Holy Cross), Pelendri

Church of Timios Stavros (Holly Cross), Pelendri

The church of Timios Stavros is situated in a central area of the Troodos mountain range, at the south end of the village of Pelendri, which is attested in the sources since the late 12th century. In 1985 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List which included nine other painted Byzantine churches of the Troodos range. 

The present form of the church is the result of several additions and alterations, carried out throughout various periods. Originally, it was a single-aisled domed structure, built around the middle of the 12th century and it is possible that it was the church of a cemetery. Today it appears as a three-aisled structure with appealing proportions which manage to conceal its turbulent architectural history. According to an inscription surviving in the apse, the original wall-painting decoration dates to 1171/2. Fragments of the decoration are preserved on the apse under the layer of the 14th century frescoes. They belong to a style rarely seen in the 12th century wall-paintings of Cyprus, but very common in contemporary churches in Capadocia, Greece and Crete. 

The main part of the church of Timios Stavros was decorated during the second half of the 14th century. At least two artists belonging to the same workshop were involved, together with their students. (Source)