The museum was built in the 15th century. The richly ornamented Gothic arch with the remarkable fresco of the Annunciation (16th c.) was discovered in 1950. In the early 13th century the area was Frankish (Latin) and part of the old building was used as a monastery by the Order of the Benedictine. The building became the property of the Orthodox Church before the Turkish conquest of Cyprus (1570/1). The difficult period of the Ottoman rule required clever ways of escape so the Cypriots took advantage of the secret exits and tunnels of the old monastery which led to the mansion of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios and the Pancyprian Gymnasium. Under the Pancyprian Gymnasium there was a crypt which led to the hidden exits of the walls of Famagusta.
The first small museum was founded in 1950. It gradually expanded to include the ground floor of the old Archdiocese. Due to the events of 1955-1959, the museum had to close. Also, with the Turkish invasion in the summer of 1974, the collection was transferred to more secure areas and the museum was closed for about a year. The objects needed immediate maintenance, the roof of the building was about to collapse and humidity caused irreparable damage to the exhibits. In 1990, the late Archbishop Chrysostomos A’, generously offered to cover the costs of maintenance. The restoration was completed in April 1996 and the museum could open again.
Many of the objects of the Museum come from donations while others were purchased directly from villagers or from private collections. In the museum you will see woven textiles, pottery, embroidery, metalwork, woodwork, basketry, folk art, costumes, lace, farming tools, weaving tools etc. Nowadays the museum houses over 5.000 objects.
In 2011 the Museum of Silversmith was closed and the collection is now housed in the Folk Art Museum.
On the first floor, you can have a look at the rooms of the Archdiocese, the historical room of the Archbishop Kyprianos, the library etc. The Society of Cypriot Studies was awarded for their efforts and contribution on March 24th, 1946.
- Tuesday - Friday: 09:30-16:00
- Saturday: 09:00-13:00