Garden Of Paradise
In the central zone of the northern semidome of the narthex, the Garden of Paradise is painted. The scene contains the locked gate leading to Paradise with a guardian cherub in front of it. Also, a number of the Elect walk towards it, with Peter as their leader. Behind him there is an elder person, probably prophet Elijah, and two martyrs, probably Demetrios and George. On the left hand side of the gate, the Garden of Paradise filled with trees is depicted within a rectangular compartment. On each side of the Mother of God, the thief, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are portrayed.
The appearance of the good thief in the scene of the Garden of Paradise is of particular interest. Although being sinful and crucified along with Jesus and the impenitent thief, he is depicted stepping into paradise as a symbol of salvation due to his repentance while being on the cross by asking Jesus to remember him during the Second Coming. From the eleventh century onwards, the thief is represented constantly in Last Judgement scenes. On the contrary, the impenitent thief challenged Christ to save himself in order to prove his divine substance.
Patriarchs are depicted frontally with a great degree of similarity among them with a group of souls in each of their himation. The souls are pictured as young people with their heads turned to the east. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are traditionally included in the representation of the Last Judgement as early as the tenth century. However, they gained popularity in the eastern Mediterranean art during the Crusader period in accordance with the publicity their tombs in Hebron acquired. As a result, Palestinian churches of the twelfth century included them in their iconographical programme. They were, also, famous in Cyprus during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as an integral ingredient in the depictions of the Second Coming. The church of Transfiguration at Sotira and Panagia Kanakaria at Lythrankomi are exceptional.