The frescoes in the Byzantine Fresco Chapel originate from a small chapel situated about a mile outside the Cypriot village of Lysi. The village is located between the cities of Nicosia and Famagusta in the Turkish occupied Famagusta district, referred to as Akdoğan in Turkish. The chapel at Lysi is a small limestone structure, with a central dome and gently pointed barrel vaults. Most likely, given its intimate size, the chapel was used as a private votive space dedicated to the act of prayer.
As an example of Byzantine art and architecture, it has proven challenging to put a date on the construction of the chapel at Lysi, though the standard consensus among scholars is that the chapel, and frescoes it once housed, date from the late twelfth or early thirteenth century. The small size of the original chapel at Lysi is typical of Byzantine architecture, which sought to create an awesome, yet accessible, intimacy between the human and divine. This was achieved through a carefully considered triad of architecture, painting, and observer—with nothing dominating, but each entity related to the other in proximate scale. The seriousness of the frescoes does not indicate preeminence over the other elements— their character relates gravity, but with grace, achieved through delicateness of color and responsiveness of facial expression.
The chapel is generally identified as the Church of the Blessed St. Themanianos, due to an inscription that ran along the apse and was destroyed when the looters removed the frescoes.
Documented in part, the dedication read:
...holy church of the Blessed Father Themonianos for the succor and out of the great longing of Lawrence, hieromonk and abbot of the reverend monastery of...[who is] among the saints...