One usually associates Cyprus with the goddess Aphrodite and classical Greek civilisation . This present volume , by contrast , presents the most important churches and monasteries from Cyprus's Byzantine period with coloured illustrations and detailed explanations . The rich mosaic and fresco tradition of the Eastern Empire has left many monuments here ; cut off from the mother country by the Arab onslaughts , it was possible , for example , for works from the period prior to the iconoclasm to survive in Cyprus , whereas elsewhere in the Byzantine Empire valuable mosaics and frescoes were torn off walls with pickaxes and chisels .

The illustration on the front page shows the priest Basil Chamados with his wife and their two daughters : he is presenting Archangel Michael with a model of the church which he has founded . The Archangel is the patron saint of the small church in Pedoulas , and he is intended to intercede on behalf of the family in their hope for forgiveness of their sins with the Lord over Heaven and Earth . The colours have lost nothing of their freshness and expressiveness over a period of more than half a millenium , and the family's serious faces and their hands raised solemnly in prayer touch us still even today .

The idea for this project came about as a result of the collaboration between the respected Byzantine scholar , who ten years ago in Cyprus together with the Right Reverend Fr. Nikephoros , Abbot of Kykkos , founded the in the meantime most important research institute for the history of the monasteries on the island , and the publisher Ewald Hein , who had found himself confronted ever more with the problems of divided and deprived countries in the course of his travels . Finally , the editor and author Brigitte Kleidt also joined this project . She was responsible for the introduction and appendix , as well as for a well-rounded presentation of the material from both a visual and textual aspect .

As frescoes suffer very much from flashlights , photography is banned in churches ; the postcards offered for sale give a completely false reproduction of colours . Therefore , in addition to sound information , this book offers valuable aids to the memory for a visit to the monuments .

Ewald Hein , born in Lithuania in 1935 , expelled from there to Germany in 1944 as a result of World War II, studied metallurgical engineering and business management . As self-employed entrepreneur for the past 25 years , he has gained ever greater access to mankind's cultural roots in the course of extensive travels . He founded the publishing house Melina Verlag in 1990 to be able to give expression , among other things , to his impressions of East Europe , East Asia and finally also Cyprus . He is co-editor of the cultural journal of the Germans from Lithuania .

 , born in Arilje , Serbia in 1940 , studied Theology in Belgrade and Byzantine Studies in Athens . Professor of Byzantine and Slavic studies at Ohio State University , Columbus , 1971-1976 . He worked on the Mount Athos manuscripts at the Patriarchal Institute of Patristic Studies , Vlataton , Thessaloniki from 1981-1985 . Together with the Right Reverend Fr, Nikephoros , Abbot of Kykkos Monastery , he founded the Research Centre for Cypriot Monasteriology and History in Nicosia (1986) .

Dr. Brigitte Kleidt , born in Offenbach am Main in 1959 , studied Philosophy , History of the Book , German Language and Literature and African Studies in Mainz , Belgrade and Zagreb . Worked as editorial assistant and editor in various publishing houses . Since 1996 , freelance editor and translator .