A particularly interesting Byzantine monument is the small church of Ágia Kyriakí north of Apiranthos. It dates from the 9th century AD, the time of the iconoclasm. Fortunately, in recent years the building has been restored (from the outside and the inside) at the initiative of the Cultural Association of Apiranthos as a collaboration of Swiss Byzantinologists and the Greek Byzantine Association. Since then it is – regrettably but understandably – locked, so that one can’t see the inside any more.
A beautiful hiking trail leads from Apiranthos to the church of Ágia Kyriakí and further to the emery mines.
The small church is located north of Apiranthos on the hill, which can be seen approximately in the middle of the picture.
It lies above an old, picturesque olive grove.
The small building with two naves dates from the 9th century.
The inside of the church is decorated with remarkable murals from the time of the iconoclasm.
These photos were taken before the restauration of the church. Now the very old, rare murals are cleaned and preserved as best as possible.
The walls of the sanctuary show a number of cocks. This is a very unusual decoration. Similar figures are known only from one or two churches in the Middle East.