This is the medieval, Byzantine cathedral in Kiti (Cyprus). It is one of the most precious, Byzantine monuments on the island because parts of the building, including a golden mosaic preserved inside, date from the late 6th or early 7th C. AD. That is from the time before the birth of Islam, when Roman empire still dominated the Eastern Mediterranean and its greatest foe in the East was Zoroastrian Persia. Much of this ancient church, however, was destroyed during early Arab raids of the 7th an 8th C. so that most of the Byzantine building that you see today date from the 11th and 12th C. when Cyprus became an important supply base, providing resources and manpower supporting Byzantine and crusader armies in Syria and Palestine.
Despite Cyprus’ importance, as the main bridge representing Byzantine influence in the East, the cathedral in Kiti is far smaller than many contemporary, Latin cathedrals in the West. Indeed, with few exceptions, such as the Hagia Sophia in Kiev, later medieval cathedrals of the Byzantine world were much smaller than contemporary, monumental edifices in the West, for example in Chartres, St Denis, Durham or Bamberg. Part of the reason for this, is because bishops had a bit different role in Byzantium, than in the Latin Christendom and the Byzantine empire had a much more dense network of dioceses than the West. In other words, there were far more Byzantine bishops who, as a consequence, were poorer and resided in far smaller cathedrals than their counterparts in Western Europe. Cyprus illustrates this difference very well: as a Byzantine province, the island had 14 bishops while after it was conquered by the Latins, the number of dioceses was decreased to four, at least two of which, had enough resources to construct large, lavish cathedrals (Nicosia and Famagusta). Latin bishops, therefore, were wealthier and more distant from ‘common folk’ whilst Byzantine, orthodox bishops were numerous and served as leaders of smaller, often rural communities. Thus, Byzantine ecclesiastic dignitaries of Cyprus remained deeply connected with the Greek communities that supported them and resided in much humbler, though not less beautiful, churches, such as the one in Kiti.
Also thanks for providing us with the info about byzantine church structures - I wasn't aware of these characteristics