Prof. Ata ATUN

Structural analysis of the main apse vault of St. George of Greeks Cathedral built c.1390 at Famagusta, Cyprus


Foundation date of the Cathedral Church of St. George of the Greeks[1] can be dated with a high degree of probability to the end of the XIV century. This magnificent building was built on the edge of the Greek quarter, which occupied almost the whole of the southern end of the city of Famagusta.

The history says that this building was abandoned after 1571, as it had suffered severely from the fire of the battery established by the Turks on the rock to the south-east of the harbour and the marks of cannon-balls can be seen on the walls of the apse.

The building was built so strong that it could stand any kind of battering and to earthquake to a certain extend. In detail survey was done to find out the building technique and materials used, including the quarry where the stones were cut, the chemical composition and the strength of the stones and mortar used in between. A very sophisticated structural analysis[2] was carried to find out the strength of the main vault, its behavior and reactions to external forces, especially to earthquake and cannon balls.


Cathedral Church of St. George of the Greeks is situated in the south east part of the town of Famagusta on the east cost of the Cyprus island, located at the eastern part of Mediterranean sea. It’s exact position is  35007.2’ N, 33056.7’ E.