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Tochni’s Church of the Holy Cross Tochni’s Church of the Holy Cross

Tochni’s Church of the Holy Cross Brought Back to Life Virtually

Another Larnaca region archaeological site has been virtually reconstructed in 3D, adding to the series of virtual reconstructions under a joint initiative between Larnaka Tourism Board (LTB) and the Youth Makerspace Larnaka branch of Youth Board of Cyprus (ONEK). The reconstructions bring the region’s rich heritage to life in a modern and accessible way via a combination of technological innovation and historical research.

The first two monuments to be virtually reconstructed were the Ancient Port of Kition and Kalavasos-Tenta. The third is the Church of the Holy Cross, Tochni, which was executed in cooperation with the Holy Metropolis of Trimythountos.

The aforementioned video shows a depiction of the temple during the 12th-14th centuries. It is a Gothic style church that is historically connected to the passage of Saint Helen in Cyprus and is located opposite the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen in the centre of rural Tochni village.

The church complex is comprised of two buildings; the Byzantine temple and the northern temple, which is an important historical building of the 14th century. It is noted that the three-dimensional visual, interpretative restoration of the twin temples of the Church of the Holy Cross, Tochni is hypothetical, based on the floor plan, only for the transparent indicative rendering of the southern temple.

The final result of the northern temple is the result of a study undertaken to attempt to fill in missing elements, based on sufficient surviving remains, which were mapped with millimetre accuracy. The completion of the missing elements was undertaken with metric precision and the result coincides with - and is confirmed by - the well-known published morphology of the temple that was salvaged from Camil Enlart’s plans of 1896, with a hypothetical representation of elements of the south side.

The video also presents important collections and great works of the 16th century by the great hagiographer of the time Loukas Tochnitis, such as the Virgin Mary Enthroned and the Epitaph. A gospel from the same period is also presented and constitutes the most ancient, surviving archetype, which is now kept in the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen.

The knowledge and expertise of the scientific team of the Holy Metropolis of Trimythountos and other collaborators was utilised for the implementation of the project. Supporters of the project are the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and the Department of Antiquities.

The video can be viewed on YouTube here: