CONSERVATION AND LANDSCAPING OF MONUMENTS AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES
Aims of the Department
1. To contribute to the conservation of the architectural heritage of Cyprus through the work of a team consisting of the Archaeologist and Art Historian, the Architect Conservator, the Conservator of Art Works, and other specialists as required.
2. To consider monuments globally within their history, the context of their environment, and with respect for their interior furnishings.
3. To keep plans, drawings, historical information, written and photographic documentation for every project (see ARCHIVES).
4. To provide consultancies for the design of houses, churches, and iconostases in line with the island’s historical, environmental, architectural, and artistic traditions.
5. To landscape gardens around historic monuments and classified houses with traditional rockeries and plants and without use of cement. In the case of ecclesiastical milieu, the emphasis is given to aromatic herbs.
6. To promote the use of the traditional plants, shrubs, and trees of Cyprus, recorded already within the MEDI-FLORA programme.
PREVIOUS AND CURRENT PROJECTS
CONSERVATION OF THE RESIDENCE OF KOSTAS CHRISTODOULOU
Since 1992 a series of works on the restoration and rehabilitation of the headquarters of the Centre were carried out. The residence was abandoned after the death of Kostas Christodoulou in 1972, and two carpenter’s workshops were permitted to function on the premises of the building, which contributed to the general decay of the residence. One carpenter was active until 1998 and the second one until recently.
LANDSCAPING OF THE GARDENS OF THE CULTURAL HERITAGE CENTRE
The courtyards of the residence, abandoned since 1972 and covered with the carpenters’ garbage and wild vegetation, were cleared in early 1993 and landscaped by the Centre with the use of traditional concepts, materials, and plants.
Partial view of the garden of the Centre of Cultural Heritage, created in 1993. Before and after..
restoration of the medieval watermill of geroskipou
The Centre was commissioned by the Municipality of Geroskipou in 1995 to save this endangered monument after the construction of the modern secondary school of Geroskipou very near to it. The Centre proceeded to the architectural recording of the watermill and prepared the specifications for its restoration. Archaeological excavations were carried out in order to uncover its lower areas and structures and propose a dating, as well as proper restoration treatment. The pottery evidence discovered in the stratigraphy permitted the dating of the construction of the mill to the 14th century and its use until the late 19th century. As part of the restoration works, the surroudings of the monument were landscaped with dry stone walls in order to protect it from further accumulation of earth around it because of the slope on which it stands. Aromatic herbs were planted around it.
Conservation of the medieval watermill of Geroskipou (plans and photos).
restoration of the church of the holy cross in kyperounta and the landscaping of an aromatic herb garden around the premise
In 1994 the Ecclesiastical Committee of the Parish Church of Saint Marina commissioned the Centre to treat the interior of this early 16th century chapel at Kyperounta, in the mountainous Pitsilia area of the Troodos, with its murals of 1521. The aim was to create a Treasury of the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine heritage of the community and landscape a garden of aromatic herbs around the chapel with traditional rockeries in the local tradition of the area.
restoration of the ground floor of the church of panagia iamatiki at arakapas village
In 1992 the Ecclesiastical Committee of the Parish Church of Panagia Iamatiki at Arakapas village, under the leadership of the late Fr Georgios, asked the Centre to proceed to the restoration of the ground floor of the late 15th century church of Iamatiki. The floor was presenting damp problems with resulting damage to the clay slabs covering the floor. During restoration works some areas were excavated and an older ground floor towards the area of the iconostasis came to light.
Arakapas, Church of Panagia Iamatiki,
during restoration work in the chapel in 1992
in order to solve the problems of damp in the terracotta slabs on the floor.
landscaping of a private garden in germasogia
The importance of this project of 1991, although small in scale, is based on the use of limestone slabs to create a traditional rockery without the use of cement, in contrast with analogous public projects where the use of black cement creates an inappropriate result (see photos below).
Detail of traditional rockery with limestone slabs and without
cement, created by the Centre of Cultural Heritage
at Germasogeia in 1991.
Rockery wrongly laid with cement.
traditional designs of iconostases and houses
Drawing and photo of the modern templon (iconostasis) in the Chapel of St Hermogenes at Kourion
, installed in 1992 following the concepts of the old templon in Byzantine churches.
Consultancies for the designing of a modern house within traditional parameters, 1995.
landscaping of the archaeological site of epta ai giorkides at geroskipou
In 2002 the Municipality of Geroskipou asked the Centre to study the archaeological site of Epta Aϊ Giorkides in order to rescue it and landscape it into an archaeological park. It proceeded to the archaeological prospecting of the area, collected the place-names and local oral traditions, and prepared the plans and specifications for the park.
landscaping of avenues and streets with traditional trees within cities
In 2008 the Centre, within the framework of its endeavor to promote the use of traditional trees, shrubs, and plants, and to create sensitivity to the avoidance of the use of tropical and sub-tropical vegetation as much as possible, promoted the use of traditional trees alongside city avenues and streets. In this respect, the Centre persuaded the Municipality of Nicosia to convene a meeting with all the public agencies concerned, with the Mayor of Nicosia, Mrs Eleni Mavrou, as coordinator, in order to discuss this issue. The meeting took place on the 28 of January 2008 with positive results. After the meeting, the Centre prepared a series of virtual realities produced by students of the University of Nicosia, Department of Design and Multimedia, showing avenues in Nicosia planted with traditional Cypriot trees. The Mayor of Nicosia committed herself to promote their use in the Municipality’s projects.