The Church of Archangel Michael Trypiotis was built in 1695 and is located in the historic part of Nicosia. The name of the church comes from the Greek word “tripa,” which means “opening.” Legend has it that Archangel Michael had once saved a monastery and its inhabitants in a place called Colossae from pagans, who had diverted the flow of two nearby rivers in order to destroy the retreat. The Archangel struck the ground with his spear causing a crack to appear. All the water rushed into it and the monastery was saved.
The current church is a three-aisle, domed basilica built in a Franco-Byzantine style using worked stone. In a way it resembles a medieval fortress. Interior columns divide the space into three aisles. Scientists say that the church was built on the site of a monastery (1295), which used to be the residence of the archbishop of Cyprus until the 17th century. The main church had one nave and was dedicated to the Feast of the Transfiguration. In 1690 it was reconstructed and turned into a three-aisle church with an adjacent gallery. Remains of the previous version are still evident and include: a relief located near the southern entrance that features two lions with human heads, lintels, small gables and the renaissance-period coat of arms in the northern part of the church.
The carved, gold-plated iconostasis was built in 1812 by Savvas Taliodoros and is the church’s most prized possession. It is uniquely large and spans across all three naves of the church, containing 56 images of saints. One particularly interesting image is that of the Holy Family, which is located in the northern part of the nave. It features the Virgin with the Child surrounded by Ioakim and Anna. Another noteworthy icon is located in the Veneration Tier and features Archangel Michael. It was painted by a famous Cypriot artist named Pavlos.
The walls of the church are still covered with frescoes that were created in 1741. They depict Archangel Michael Trypiotis blasting a crack with his spear.
Archangel Michael is considered to be a patron of aerial forces in Cyprus. The church celebrates Him and all the Heavenly Forces every year on November 8th.