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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)

Page 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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