Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume IV: The art and architecture of the Crusader states
V: The arts in Cyprus, pp. 165-207 PDF (8.9 MB)
Ch. V CYPRUS: ECCLESIASTICAL ART 169 and red paint (pl. LV). The most marked feature is the gallery which runs below the aisle windows, raised on broad arcades, with a short flight of steps where the side columns separate the bays. This open passage is found in Burgundy and Champagne, but nowhere is the step design so completely or successfully worked out. Enlart has suggested, with some plausibility, that the connection maintained by the queen, Alice of Champagne, with the lands of her forefathers may account for some of the Champenois influences in Cypriote building. The windows of the clerestory of the nave have four lights, in contrast with the single lights in the chevet and the two lights of the remainder of the eastern arm. Their upper tracery is composed of trefoils set in circles. With the great west window they must date from about 1300, either from the episcopate, largely an absentee one, of Gerard of Langres (1295-13 12) or from that of his successor, John del Conte. The south doorway (moved in the second half of the nineteenth century to the east end) 3 with its marble framework, flat smooth leaves, and rounded monsters is quite unlike any other extant Cypriote work. In 1491 Hagia Sophia was severely damaged in an earthquake. Dietrich of Schachten, a visiting pilgrim, describes how much of the choir fell, destroying the chapel of the sacrament behind it, and how in clearing the damage the tomb of a king was found, with the body fresh and undecomposed, clad in robes of state, with his golden crown, orb, and spurs, and documents dating his death to a period two hundred and more years earlier. This was probably Hugh III (1267-1284). The Venetians took the gold treasure.4 The west porch added by John del Conte was intended to support two towers advanced in front of the original façade. The upper tracery of the blocked north and south windows of the first façade can still be seen in the respective tower chambers. The towers were unfinished at the Turkish conquest. Presumably the new west front would have linked the towers with a chamber or gallery in front of the central west window, but here only the springing of an arch gives any indication as to the final scheme. The porch itself consists of three vaulted bays, with pinnacled gables above the entrance arches. The doorways have a series of capitals and consoles covered with luxuriant foliage characterized by the close spacing of the leaves and by their swollen centers and crinkled, uneven outlines. This is 3. It was still in position when Mas Latrie described it in 1848. 4. R. Röhricht and H. Meisner, eds., Deutsche Pilgerreisen nach dem Heiligen Lande (Berlin, 1880), p. 211; Hill, History of Cyprus, II, 177.
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