Situated next to the Archbishopric, Ayios Ioannis (St. John’s Cathedral) was built by Archbishop Nikiforos in 1662 on the site of a 14th century Benedictine chapel dedicated to St John the Evangelist. It was turned into an Orthodox monastery in 1426 when the Benedictine Order left the island following the Mameluke raids.
The Orthodox church dedicated to St John the Theologian, remained a monastery until the 18th century when Archbishop Sylvester converted it into a cathedral, establishing it as the seat of the Orthodox Archbishopric in Cyprus.
It is a small single-aisled church with Franco-Byzantine architectural elements, its high external buttresses giving the impression from the outside of being a fortress. It is the only church in Nicosia in which the whole of the internal wall paintings have survived in their entirety.The four large icons on the icon screen were painted by the Cretan master, Ioannis Kornaros, in 1795 and 1797. Its 18th century wall paintings depict scenes from the Holy Bible and the discovery of the tomb of St. Barnabas at Salamis.