In the old center of Nicosia, a township of tapered lanes enclosed within a colossal ring of Venetian walls, stands the Gothic St John's Cathedral, seat of the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus. This is one of the most-respected churches in Cyprus. Official services are held here, presided over by the Archbishop and in the presence of the political leaders of the nation. This was once the Benedictine monastery where it is alleged that the finger of John the Baptist was conserved until the Mamelukes stole it. It then became a Greek Orthodox monastery and the present buildings were erected in 1662 by Archbishop Nikoforos.