Religious routes

See the Cyprus’s famous ten Byzantine churches on UNESCO’s World Heritage List scattered throughout the Troodos mountain areas with their remarkable pitched wooden roofs, icons and frescoes.

The Cypriot Monuments of UNESCO Religious Route

Cyprus has a large number of Byzantine monuments resulting in ten of them having such significant historical and artistic value that UNESCO included them in its list of World Heritage Sites.

All ten sites are churches located in Troodos dating from the 11th to the 17th centuries. In order to have a proper tour, the route was geographically divided into three regions:

Solea route: Nikitari – Galata – Kakopetria.
Marathasa route: Κalopanagiotis – Moutoulas – Pedoulas.
Pitsilia route: Lagoudera – Platanistasa – Pelendri – Palaichori.

Solea (route length: 138 kilometers), Marathasa (route length: 148 kilometers) and Pitsilia (route length: 97 kilometers).

Monuments in Solea: Church of Panagia tis Asinou or Forviotissa in Nikitari, Churches of Panagia Podithou, Archangelou or Panagia and Agios Sozomenos in Galata and Church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis in Kakopetria.

Monuments in Marathasa: Monastery of Agios Ioannis tou Lampadisti in Kalopanagiotis, Church of Panagia in Moutoula and the Church of Archangelos Michael in Pedoulas.

Monuments in Pitsilia: Monastery of Panagia tou Araka in Lagoudera, Church of Stavrou tou Agiasmati in Platanistasa, Monastery of Timios Stavros and Church of Archangelos Michael in Pelendri, Church of Agios Mamas in Louvara and Church of Metamorfosis in Palaichori.

Start Point: Solea route: Panagia tis Asinou in Nikitari, Troodos Marathasa route: Monastery of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis in Kalopanagiotis, Troodos Pitsilia route: Monastery of Panagia tou Araka in Lagoudera, Troodos

End Point: Solea route: Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis in Kakopetria, Troodos Marathasa route: Church of Archangelos Michael in Pedoulas, Troodos Pitsilia route: Church of Metamorfosis in Palaichori, Troodos

The Byzantine Art in Cyprus (East Route) Religious Route

In order to cover the entire island, the route was divided into two parts, the West route and the East route, to avoid a single long route and give time to people to visit all the monuments.

The East route starts from Lefkosia (Nicosia) and heads south with its first stop being at Pera Chorio for the Church of Agion Apostolon where there are frescoes of the 12th century. In Kellia, the church of Agios Antonios houses wonderful frescoes of the 11th and 13th centuries. Another stop is made in Larnaka for the church of Agios Lazaros built in 900 AD and, of course, for all the proposed monuments, which represent Byzantine art in various periods. Some of the monuments are common in both routes.

Monuments: Church of Agios Antonios in Kellia, Church of Agios Mamas and Church of Metamorfosis in Sotira, Church of Panagia and Church of Agia Marina in Paralimni, Monastery of Agia Napa in Agia Napa, Church of Agios Lazaros in Larnaka (Larnaca), Church of Aggeloktisti in Kiti, Church of Panagia in Kivisili, Monastery of Timios Stavros in Stavrovouni and Royal Chapel in Pyrga.
Total route length:  214 kilometres

Start Point: Church of Agion Apostolon, Pera Chrorio

End Point: Churches of Agiou Georgiou and Agiou Demetrianou, Dali

The Byzantine Art in Cyprus (West Route) Religious Route

Byzantine Art is found everywhere in Cyprus and the especially good condition into which these samples of art are (mainly the frescoes) make Cyprus a centre of Byzantine Art study. The first Christian centuries and their art reached our days through the mosaics of three churches.

It is impressive that despite the fact that Cyprus was conquered by many peoples, not only did it preserve the monuments, but also continued to create more with only some influences from the conquerors. The Byzantine art was present on the island from 726-843 AD although due to the iconoclasm, the most significant monument, which has been salvaged, is the ornament of the eastern dome of the five-domed church in Geroskipou. From the 10th century and up to this day, the Byzantine art both flourished and survived. All proposed monuments of the route are considered to be significant. In Peristerona you will also visit the other five-domed church (there are only two).

Monuments: the Church of Agion Varnava and Ilariona in Peristerona, Monastery of Agios Ioannis tou Lampadisti in Kalopanagiotis, Monastery of Chrysorogiatissa in Pano Panagia, Monastery of Agios Neophytos in Tala, Church of Panagia Chryseleousa in Empa, Church of Agia Kyriaki in Pafos (Paphos), Church of Agia Paraskevi in Geroskipou, Church of Agia Sofia in Timi, Church of Panagia Katholiki in Kouklia, Church of Agios Efstathios in Kolossi, Monastery of Timios Stavros in Stavrovouni, Royal Chapel in Pyrga and Churches of Agios Georgios and Agios Dimitrianos in Dali.
Total route length: 20 kilometres

Start Point: Church of Agion Varnava and Ilariona, Peristerona

End Point: Church of Agion Apostolon, Pera Chorio

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Lefkosia – Old City of Lefkosia Religious Route

The local route of the Old City is a tour to the churches of Lefkosia (Nicosia). This stroll can be made on foot since the streets are narrow and very picturesque, ideal for walking.

The Cathedral of Agios Ioannis tou Theologou, located next to the Archbishop Palace and opposite the Pancyprian Gymnasium, has a very rich collection of frescoes of the 18th and 19th centuries. The next stop will be the Byzantine Museum of the “Archbishop Makarios III” Foundation, located precisely next to the Cathedral. Amongst its wonderful exhibits also lie parts of the mosaic of the church of Kanakaria which date back to the 6th century AD. The church of Panagia tis Chrysaliniotissas is the most significant Byzantine church in Lefkosia and could not be excluded from the walk. At the same time, the church of Αgios Kassianos located very near to Panagia tis Chrysaliniotissas is a church of the 18th century. The church of Panagia tis Faneromenis was built in 1792 and its grandeur is unique. The church of Τimios Stavros tou Missirikou dates back to the years of the Venetian rule while it was converted into a mosque under Turkish rule. The church of Agios Antonios dates back to the 18th century and has a particularly significant wood-carved iconostasis and a carved stone bell tower. The last stop of this route is at the church of Αrchangelos Michael tou Tripioti renowned for its beauty; in its interior lies an icon of the 15th century which is influenced by Italian painting.

Total route length: 2 kilometres

Start Point: Cathedral of Agios Ioannis tou Theologou, Lefkosia
End Point: Church of Αrchangelos Michael tou Tripioti, Lefkosia

2nd Local Route of Lefkosia Religious Route

The second route in Lefkosia (Nicosia) is in the greater area of the district and starts from Peristerona and the church of Agion Varnava and Ilariona. This church’s main characteristic is its five domes and as far as frescoes and icons are concerned, only some of the 12th and 15th centuries have been salvaged. A bit further to the south lies the church of Αgia Varvara which dates back to the 16th century, in the years of Venetian rule. The next stop is at the church of Panagia tis Asinou in Nikitari, one of the ten churches included in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The route passes through Galata and the church of Panagia tis Podithou, which is also in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The next visit is again in the village of Galata to the church of Αrchangelos Michael or Theotokos and then to the church of Αgios Sozomenos, which was proposed to be included in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The route ends in Kakopetria and at Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, a church of the 13th century which is already one of the ten UNESCO’S World Heritage Sites of Cyprus.
Total route length: 149 kilometres

Start Point: Church of Agion Varnava and Ilariona, Peristerona

End Point: Church Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, Kakopetria

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3rd Local Route of Lefkosia Religious Route

This route, which is the third for Lefkosia (Nicosia), starts from Kato Deftera and the Spileo (cave) of Panagia tis Chrysospiliotissas with frescoes of the 14th century where a large festival is held on August 15. In Politiko, the visitor will see the Μonastery of Agios Erakleidios, a women’s monastery, which can tell the entire history of the Orthodox Church. The renowned Μonastery of Panagia tou Machaira is the next stop of the route. Visitors have the opportunity to visit one of the most significant monasteries of Cyprus built in the 12th century with funds from Byzantine Emperors. In Fikardou, one can admire the folk architecture of the village, which was declared, in its entirety, as an ancient monument by UNESCO. In Palaichori, the route passes from the church of Panagia tis Chrysopantanassas which is located in the centre of the village and from the Εcclesiastical museum located very near the church. In Agrokipia, the last part of the route lies the church of the Μonastery of Agios Panteleimonos Acheras with interesting icons and a wood carved iconostasis, characteristic of the ecclesiastical art under Turkish rule.

Total route length: 73 kilometres
Start Point: Spileo (cave) of Panagia tis Chrysospiliotissas, Kato Deftera
End Point: Μonastery of Agios Panteleimonos Acheras, Agrokipia

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Local Route of Larnaka Religious Route

In the local route of Larnaka (Larnaca), the first stop is at the church of Αgios Lazaros as well as the Εcclesiastical Museum located there since they constitute two of the most significant monuments of Cyprus. In Kiti, there is the church of Panagia tis Aggeloktistis, a very significant Byzantine museum which in its interior lies an arc of an old-Christian church with a mosaic of the 6th century. Heading to Kato Lefkara, the route passes from the church of Archangelos Michael, with beautiful frescoes of the 12th and 15th centuries. The church of Τimios Stavros, in Pano Lefkara is located at a point which has a visual contact with the Monastery of Stavrovouni and in its interior there is a silver cross in remembrance of the Bishop of Amathous. Although not known when it was built, it is certain that the Monastery of Agios Minas, in Vavla, was revived after 1965 when it became a women’s monastery.

In Hoirokitia lie the ruins of a monastery which once belonged to Knights Templar and later to Knights Hospitaller and the church of Panagia tou Kampou has some significant frescoes.

Pyrga is the last stop of this route and gives the chance to the visitor to visit the Monastery of Stavrovouni, a men’s monastery with a strict ritual, the Μediaeval Chapel as well as the church of Agia Marina.
Total route length: 73 kilometres

Start Point: Church of Αgios Lazaros, Larnaka

End Point: Church of Agia Marina, Pyrga

Larnaka – Ammochostos Religious Route

The route starts from Larnaka (Larnaca) and specifically from the church of Αgios Lazaros and Larnaka Εcclesiastical Museum, two very significant ecclesiastical monuments. In Sotira, the route passes from the Church of Μetamorfoseos tou Sotiros (Transfiguration of the Savour), a cemetery church dating back to the last years of the Venetian rule and from the church of Αgios Mamas of approximately the same period which houses a few frescoes. In the Hortakia region lies the church of Αgios Georgios Hortakion, which stands out for its good proportions although its frescoes which have been salvaged are very few. In the same area, the visitor can visit the church of Panagia Hortakion which dates back to the 15th century. In Paralimni, the route takes us to the church of Αgios Georgios, located in the city centre and built in the 19th century. Next to the church of Agios Georgios lies the church of Panagia, a two-aisled church, estimated to have been built in the 14th century. In the interior, there is also a small Εcclesiastical Museum. A very significant stop in this route is at the Μonastery of Agia Napa built in the 14th century, which is one of the most significant places of interest and, at the same time, related to poet Georgios Seferis.

Total route length: 76 kilometres

Start Point: Church of Αgios Lazaros, Larnaka

End Point: Μonastery of Agia Napa

Local Route of Lemesos Religious Route

This route starts from Cyprus Mediaeval Museum, which is located inside the Castle of Lemesos (Limassol) and covers with its exhibits a time period of approximately 1.500 years. The next stop is at the church of Agios Efstathios in Kolossi, a church which dates back to the 12th century, which, in its interior significant frescoes of the 15th century have been salvaged. In the picturesque village of Omodos there is the Monastery of Timios Stavros, which according to tradition, had been established by Agia Eleni and it is here that “Agios Kannavos”, that is, a piece of the rope which tied Jesus Christ on the Cross is kept. The church of Agia Mavri, located in Koilani, used to be a small monastery while the church of Monogenous is the second parish church of Koilani and dates back to the 17th century. The church of Panagia is a church which also hosts the Ecclesiastical Museum of Koilani. Τhe last stop of this route is at the church of Τimios Stavros in the village of Kouka, which dates back to the 12th century, in which there are preserved frescoes of the 14th and 15th centuries.

Total route length: 72 kilometres.

Start Point: Cyprus Mediaeval Museum (inside the Castle of Lemesos)

End Point: Church of Timios Stavros, Kouka, Lemesos

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2nd Local Route of Lemesos Religious Route

The second route of Lemesos (Limassol) starts from Pano Polemidia and the church of Αgia Anastasia, which is the cluster of two separate churches and have frescoes of the 15th as well as the 17th centuries. In Monagri village, there are many significant churches such as the Monastery of Panagia tis Amasgou with excellent samples of the 12th, 13th and 16th centuries. The Μonastery of Archangel west of Monagri village, has been reconstructed and is used as a Fine Arts school. The church of Αgios Georgios, also in Monagri, is the parish church of the village and has frescoes of the 15th century. The Μonastery of Timios Stavros, in Kouka village, dates back to the 12th century and is the only building amongst a series of monastery buildings which has been salvaged to this day. The last stop of this route is at the Μonastery of Timios Prodromos in Mesa Potamos; its date of establishment is not known, however, it has been recently reconstructed revealing frescoes of the 15th century.
Total route length: 56 kilometres

Start Point: Church of Agia Anastasia, Pano Polemidia

End Point: Monastery of Timios Prodromos, Mesa Potamos

3rd Local Route of Lemesos Religious Route

The first stop of this route of Lemesos (Limassol) is in Parekklisia and the Church of Timios Stavros, which houses some very significant frescoes of Italian-Byzantine style. In Kellaki, there is the Church of Agios Georgios with its very interesting wood carved iconostasis, a work made under Turkish rule. In the Church of Agios Nikolaos, in Klonari, there are wonderful frescoes of the 16th century, a magnificent iconostasis and the icons which decorate it are quite interesting for the visitor. In Vikla, there is the Church of Agios Ioannis tou Eleimona, the only building which has been salvaged in this abandoned village. The route then stops at the Church of Agios Georgios tis Akapnou, which is the parish church of the village.

The visit to the Church of Panagia tis Iamatikis in Arakapa is an unforgettable experience. From the inscription, we find out that it was destroyed for some reason and rebuilt in 1727. In Louvara lies the Church of Agios Mamas which is built in 1455 although it was decorated forty years later by painter Philippos Wool.

Total route length: 6 kilometres
Start Point: Church of Timios Stavros, Parekklisia

End Point: Church of Agios Mamas, Louvaras

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Local Route of Pafos Religious Route

Pafos (Paphos) area bristles with ecclesiastical monuments first on the list being the Palaiochristian Basilica of Chrysopolitissa in Kato Pafos (Kato Paphos). This church has yet another reason to constitute an excellent place of interest and this is its relation to Apostle Pavlos since it still houses the column on which, according to tradition, the Apostle was tied and whipped. In Peristerona, there is the Ecclesiastical Museum, which is hosted by the Archbishopric of Arsinoes and houses icons, canonicals as well as other objects from the villages of the area. The Church of Agia Kyriaki was built on the north aisle of the ruined Palaiochristian Basilica of Chrysopolitissa.

In the Holy Bishopric of Pafos there is the Βyzantine Museum whose collection can easily be compared to that of the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation. In Geroskipou, there is the second church of Cyprus with five domes as well as significant frescoes which is dedicated to Αgia Paraskevi and, in Acheleia, we find the Church of Agios Theodosios with significant frescoes which date back to the 13th century one of which depicts the Apostles Petros and Pavlos and a portrait of the donors. The route passes from the churches of Panagia tis Katholikis in Kouklia, the Hermitage “Palaio Egkleistro” in Souskiou and ends in Pano Archimandrita and the Hermitage of Agion Pateron.

Total route length: 53 kilometres.

Star Point: Palaiochristian Basilica of Chrysopolitissa, Kato Pafos

End Point: Hermitage of Agion Pateron, Pano Archimandrita

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2nd Local Route of Pafos Religious Route

The second ecclesiastical local route of Pafos (Paphos) is longer and starts from Kato Pafos (Kato Paphos) and the Palaiochristian Basilica of Chrysopolitissa, the big church which is directly connected to Apostle Pavlos since there lies the column on which he was tied and whipped. The Church of Agia Kyriaki, also located in Kato Pafos, is built on the ruins of the north aisle of the Basilica of Chrysopolitissa and dates back to the 15th century. The Holy Bishopric of Pafos hosts the Βyzantine Museum with icons dating back to the 8th, 9th up until the 19th centuries.

The next stop is at the Church of Panagia tis Chryselaiousis in Empa, one of the most significant Byzantine monuments of Cyprus. In Tala, the route passes from the Church of Agia Aikaterini, a single-aisled church with a dome, which possibly in its initial form used to be arched. In the same village there is the Μonastery of Agios Neofytos, a Cypriot hermit from Lefkara who left behind a significant work. The Church of Agia Aikaterini, in Kritou Terra, dates back to the 15th century and is quite interesting as a church in terms of its architecture. Just before the end of the route, the visitor passes from the Church of Agios Andronikos in Polis Chrysochous which is located on a hill with a wonderful view. The last stop is at the Church of Agios Minas in Neo Chorio at the edges of Akamas peninsula.

Total route length: 85 kilometres
Start Point: Palaiochristian Basilica of Chrysopolitissa, Kato Pafos
End Point: Church of Agios Minas, Neo Chorio Pafou

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3rd Local Route of Pafos Religious Route

Like in the case of the other routes of Pafos (Paphos), this route also starts from the Palaiochristian Basilica of Chrysopolitissa in Kato Pafos (Kato Paphos), the church which is connected to Apostle Pavlos since in its yard lies the column on which he was tied and whipped. The Church of Agia Kyriaki, also in Kato Pafos, dates back to the 15th century. Τhe Βyzantine Museum of the Holy Bishopric of Pafos is considered to be one of the richest museums in terms of significant exhibits whose collection can easily be compared to that of the Museum of the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation in Lefkosia (Nicosia).
The next stop is at the Bishopric and at the Church of Agios Ilarionas whose south aisle of the original building only has been salvaged today. The Church of Panagia tis Eleousas in Nata village is a church of large dimensions which has been under reconstruction in the past years. The Μonastery of Panagia tou Sinti, in Pentalia is assumed to have been built in 1542. While originally it was autonomous, it later became, under Turkish rule, a glebe of Kykkos Monastery. The last church of this route is the Church of Agios Nikolaos in Galataria with beautiful frescoes of the first half of the 16th century.

Total route length: 85 kilometres

Start Point: Palaiochristian Basilica of Chrysopolitissa, Kato Pafos

End Point: Church of Agios Nikolaos, Galataria

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Monasticism and Asceticism – Route A Religious Route

Monasticism and, by extension, asceticism are unbreakably related to Orthodoxy and the fact that Cyprus neigbours Egypt and Palestine where asceticism grew resulted in Cyprus also becoming an important place for hermits.

Since this route is very long, it is divided into five different routes in order to cover the entire island.

In the years of iconoclasm, monasticism grew in Cyprus especially mainly due to the fact that the inhabitants kept their faith and offered refuge to all prosecuted monks from Constantinople as well as other parts of the then Byzantine Empire. The Monastery of Agios Nikolaos, the Monastery of the Priests and many other cities were connected to this era. Later in the 11th and 12th centuries, when the Byzantine Empire receives attacks from the Turks as well as the Crusaders, a number of Monasteries are established in Cyprus which are very significant and even grow in number under Frankish as well as Venetian rules (Μonastery of Panagia Podithou, etc).

Monuments: Monastery of Archangelos Michael, Analiontas – Monastery of Agios Erakleidios, Politiko – Monastery of Machairas, Lazania – Agia Thekla, Mosfiloti – Monastery of Timios Stavros, Stavrovouni.

Total route length: 9 kilometres

Start Point: Monastery of Agios Erakleidios Politiko, Lefkosia

End Point: Monastery of Timios Stavros, Stavrovouni

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Monasticism and Asceticism – Route B Religious Route

In Kalopanagiotis, the visitor will be able to visit the Monastery of Agios Ioannis o Lampadistis which is of incomparable beauty, which though it does not have monks anymore, it is very well preserved.

Monasticism is widely spread in Cyprus and three of the monasteries (Kykkos Monastery, Machairas Monastery and Monastery of Agios Neophytos) are under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch (“stavropigiakos” in Greek), that is, they were established directly by an Emperor of the Byzantine and retain their independence under a special Patriarch document.

Kykkos Monastery is a destination which has a lot to offer like in the case of the other monasteries of this route, whether they are in operation or not.

Monuments: Monastery of Agios Nikolaos, Orounta – Monastery of Agios Ioannis tou Lampadisti, Kalopanagiotis – Kykkos Monastery – Monastery of Trikoukkia, Prodromos – Monastery of Trooditissa, Troodos Square.
Total route length: 153 kilometres

Start Point: Monastery of Agios Nikolaos, Orounta

End Point: Monastery of Trooditissa, Troodos

Monasticism and Asceticism – Route C Religious Route

Starting from Lefkosia (Nicosia) and heading towards Kato Deftera, the visitor will have the opportunity to visit the hermitage of Panagia tis Chrysospiliotissas and then moving towards the village of Pera Chorio, the church of Agion Apostolon.

This route is the shortest without this meaning that it is of less significance. In Dali, the church of Agios Dimitrianos has magnificent frescoes of 1317 AD. In Agios Sozomenos, apart from a church built under Turkish rule, there is another one which is, however, unfinished of Franco-Byzantine style dedicated to Agios Mamas.

Monuments: Hermitage of Panagia Chrysospiliotissa, Kato Deftera – Church of Agion Apostolon, Pera Chorio – Church of Agios Georgios and Church of Agios Dimitrianos, Dali – Church of Agios Mamas and Hermitage Cave, Agios Sozomenos.

Total route length: 44 kiloemtres

Start Point: Hermitage of Panagia Chrysospiliotissa, Kato Deftera

End Point: Church of Agios Mamas and Hermitage Cave, Agios Sozomenos

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Monasticism and Asceticism – Route D Religious Route

The area of Lemesos (Limassol) is very significant with regard to the history of the Byzantium and of its art although special reference may be made to its relation to Monasticism. Today, only 12 monasteries have been salvaged in the district of Lemesos 9 of which are inhabited by monks or nuns.

Near Akrotiri lies the oldest monastery of the district which is dedicated to Agios Nikolaos although it is more known as “Monastiri ton Gaton” (monastery of the cats). It is estimated that the monastery was established in the 4th century by Agia Eleni. Agia Eleni is also connected to the establishment of many other monasteries like the one of Timios Stavros in Omodos, where rumour has it that a piece from the rope which tied Jesus Christ on the cross is kept. The best wood-carved ceilings of Cyprus are found in the Monastery in Omodos. Although deserted, the monastery in Anogyra is old Christian.

Monuments: Monastery of Agios Nikolaos “ton Gaton”, Akrotiri – Monastery of Timios Stavros, Omodos – Monastery of Timios Stavros, Anogyra – Μonastery of Panagia tis Amasgous – Monastery of Archangel Michael, Monagri – Monastery Agios Georgios tou Alamanou, Lemesos – Monastery of Timios Prodromos, Mesa Potamos – Monastery of Panagia tis Amirous, Apsiou – Μonastery of Panagia tis Zoodochou Pigis tou Glossa, Κellaki and Monastery of Panagia tis Sfalaggiotissas, Agios Athanasios.

Start Point: Monastery of Agios Nikolaos “ton Gaton”, Akrotiri

End Point: Monastery of Panagia tis Sfalaggiotissas, Agios Athanasios

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Monasticism and Asceticism – Route E Religious Route

This route crosses the district of Pafos (Paphos) since there are many monasteries and hermitages such as the Egkleistra (enclosure carved out of the mountain) of Agios Neophytos.

In the Egkleistra of Ayios Neophytos, built next to the hermitage of Agios Neophytos, who was a Cypriot hermit, there are wonderful frescoes of the 12th century some of which were made by Theodoros Apsevdis, a Constantinopolitan painter. Near Panagia lies another big monastery of Pafos, Panagia Chrysorogiatissa, with some very well preserved buildings dating back to the Turkish rule. In Moni, there is also an ecclesiastical museum which houses treasures of the monastery. Heading south, the visitor will come across the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos, which is also known as the Holy Monastery or the Monastery of the Holy (“Ton Iereon”) built in the 10th century. Tradition has it that Agios Nikolaos set off from this Monastery. In Kouklia, there are two hermitages one of which is also called old “Egkleistra” of Agios Neophytos.

Μonuments: Μonastery – Egkleistra of Agios Neoophytos, Τala – Μonastery of Panagia Chrysorogiatissa, Panagia – Monastery of Agios Nikolaos, Statos – “Old Egkleistra” Hermitage, Κouklia and Hermitage of Agion Pateron, Pano Archimandrita.
Total route length: 100 kilometres

Start Point: Μonastery – Egkleistra of Agios Neoophytos, Τala

End Point: Hermitage of Agion Pateron, Pano Archimandrita

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Multi-Cultural Christian Cyprus Tolerant to other Religions and Doctrines Route A Religious Route

A basic characteristic of Cyprus, which makes it special, is the peaceful coexistence of Christianity and Mohammedanism, while at the same time, the Orthodox share the same space with the Armenians and the Catholics. This peaceful coexistence of many years was the reason for the construction as well as preservation of various monuments.

The Orthodox religion and the course of the autocephalous Cypriot church are all depicted on the frescoes of the church of Apostle Varnavas in Engomi as well as on the church of Agios Ioannis in Lefkosia. The relation between the Orthodox and the Muslims starts in the 7th century with the commencement of the Arabic raids on the island. The Um Haram Mosque signals the relation between the area and Prophet Muhammad. Later, in the 11th century with the commencement of the Crusades and, more specifically, after the conquest of the island by Richard the Lionheart and its surrender to the Franks, Cyprus gets to know Catholicism which dominates the island after its occupation by the Venetians. The current form of the island with regard to the way in which it accepts and supports the various religions was determined under Turkish rule since the Turks have converted many churches into mosques such as the Gothic Church of Agia Sofia in Lefkosia (Nicosia).

Monuments: Church of Agios Lazaros, Larnaka (Larnaca) – Um Haram Mosque, Dromolaxia, Church of Panagia Aggeloktisti in Kiti, Church of Panagia in Kisivili, Church/Mosque of Agia AIkaterini – Gothic Church of Panagia Stazousa and Royal Chapel in Pyrga and Monastery of Stavrovouni.

Start Point: Church of Agios Lazaros, Larnaka

End Point: Monastery of Stavrovouni

Multi Cultural Christian Cyprus Tolerant to other Religions and Doctrines – Route B Religious Route

This route is very pleasant and covers half of the island.

Starting from Lefkosia (Nicosia), you reach Pyrga to visit the royal Latin chapel with Byzantine frescoes and you move on to Stavrovouni to visit the monastery of Timios Stavros where a piece of the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified is kept. Then, you pass Lemesos (Limassol) and Kourion to reach Timi where you will visit a small church which was converted into a mosque under Turkish rule. In Ktima, you once again come across a mosque, which used to be an Orthodox church dedicated to Agia Sofia. During the entire route, you will come across many monuments, which relate to the multi-cultural side of Cyprus.

Monuments: Royal Chapel and Church of Agia Marina, Pyrga – Church/Mosque of Agios Georgios, Bishopric of Lemesos (Limassol) – Mosque/Church of Agia Sofia, Τimi – Church/Mosque of Agia Sofia, Κtima, Pafos (Paphos) – Mosque/Church of Agios Nikolaos, Chrysohou – Mosque/Church of Agios Andronikos, Polis Chrysohous – Mosque/Church of Agia Aikaterini and Church of Panagia Pelathousa Chortainis – Church of Panagia Chryseleousa, Lysos.

Total route length: 2 kilometres

Start Point: Lefkosia

End Point: Church of Panagia Chryseleousa in Lysos, Pafos

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Multi Cultural Christian Cyprus Tolerant to other Religions and Doctrines – Route C Religious Route

In Lefkosia (Nicosia), like on the entire island of Cyprus, the coexistence of Orthodox, Catholics, Armenians and Muslims was obvious and this is proved by the large number of monuments salvaged to this day.

Starting from the church of Agios Ioannis tou Theologou, which is full of beautiful frescoes, we move on to the Omeriye Mosque, built under Frankish rule to cover the needs of the Augustinians (Catholic Order).  A walk in the old city of Lefkosia gives the opportunity to all those interested to visit a large number of Orthodox churches as well as more modern churches of the Catholics, the Maronites and, little further away, of the Anglicans. An interesting place to visit is also the small mosque of Bayraktar (standard bearer) which was built at the place where a Turkish standard bearer had placed his flag in 1570, during the siege of the city.

Monuments: Bayraktar Mosque, Cathedral of Agios Ioannis tou Theologou, Omeriye Mosque, Mosque/Church of Timios Stavros Missirikou – Gothic Church of Agia Sofia – Church of the Catholics, Maronites and the Anglicans – Church of Panagia Chrysaliniotissa – Church of Agios Kassianos – Archangel Michael.

Start Point: Cathedral of Agios Ioannis tou Theologou, Lefkosia

End Point: Church of Archangel Michael, Lefkosia

Worship of the Holy Cross in Cyprus Religious Route

Τhe fact that Cyprus is at the centre of Eastern Mediterranean, very close to the Middle East and Asia Minor, played a significant role as a stop on the way to and from the Holy Land. Tradition has it that Saint Eleni, the Mother of Constantine the Great, when transferring the Holy Cross from Palestine stopped in Cyprus and followed a course along which churches dedicated to the Holy Cross were built.

The route starts from Moni Stavrovouniou which has, however, the rule of “avato” meaning that it is inaccessible to women. The church of Timios Stavros in Tochni is the only church built on a bridge, the church of Pelendri with the same name has magnificent frescoes of the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. In Omodos, the visitor will see a piece of the rope used to tie Jesus on the cross.

Monuments: Monastery of Timios Stavros in Stavrovouni, Churches of Timios Stavros in Tochni, Lefkara, Pelendri, Kouka, Monasteries of Timios Stavros in Anogyra and Tsada and Monastery of Timios Stavros Minthis in Tsada. Τhe total route length is not fixed.

Start Point: Moni Stavrovouniou

End Point: Monastery of Timios Stavros Minthis, Tsada

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