Location: Village of Lagoudera in the Pitsilia area at the foothills of the Troodos Mountain range.
Founded: Probably built at the end of the 12th century. According to local tradition, the name originates from 'ierakas' or hawk, which miraculously guided the owner-prince to the location of the Virgin's icon. Today the church and a two-storey monastery building north of the church, survive.
Architecture: It is a single-aisled dome-hall with a cross-shaped roof to which a second timber roof was added covered with flat tiles extending beyond the church walls creating a covered enclosed porch on the north, east and south side of it. The dome had a separate roof.
Wall Paintings: The most complete set of mid-Byzantine wall paintings in Cyprus painted in 1192, in late Commenian style. Characteristics are slenderness of form, meandering garment folds, vivid movement, exceptional colour combinations, manneristic details and calligraphic effect.
Scenes include the Pantocrator surrounded by the Preparation of the Throne, the ultimate symbol of The Day of Judgement, and The Angels in medallions, the Prophets, the Annunciation of the Virgin, the Evangelists. In addition, the enthroned Virgin between Archangels with Christ and 7 Cypriot saints are depicted. The Nativity, the Descent to Hell, the Baptism, the Ascension, the Presentation and Dormition of the Virgin and a row of Saints complete the iconographic circle. A standing Panagia Arakiotissa occupies the south wall under the Dormition of the Virgin. The wall paintings are attributed to Theodoros Apsevdis.
The icons of Christ and John the Baptist are from the 16th century.
In the 17th century, images of several saints were painted on the exterior of the north wall while the iconostasis dates to 1673.
Wall paintings on the sanctuary arch dome are in a different style and were probably painted by another artist.
Panagia tou Araka - Lagoudera