Oksana Isupova

24 May 2021

Read 7 min.

Cyprus is a popular destination for travelers. Those who like to lie on the seashore, fans of beach parties, fans of all-inclusive rest come here. But Cyprus is not only about scenic views, amazing cuisine and hot sand, it is also spiritual food. The culture of Cyprus is vividly represented by sacred landmarks. There are hundreds of monasteries, churches and temples, striking in their grandeur and architecture. Let’s consider the most unusual and popular ones.

Kykkos – the main shrine of Cyprus

The monastery is popular thanks to the icon of the Kykkos Mother of God. It is believed that the apostle Luke wrote it. The icon is miraculous; every year thousands of pilgrims flock to Cyprus for its sake.

The Kykkos monastery was founded in the 11th century. It is located on the Troodos mountain range, which is the highest point of Mount Olympos. The shrine is a whole complex of buildings of different eras and styles. The monastery is decorated with mosaics and frescoes made by craftsmen from several states.

Not far from Kykkos is the grave of the first president, Macarius. In 1926 he served here as a priest, and then as an archbishop.

There is a museum on the territory of Kykkos, which is open every day. Here travelers can see church accessories, manuscripts, icons. Music of Byzantium sounds in the museum.

It is convenient to get to the holy place from Paphos and Limassol. Better to rent a car. You can also get there by bus: first you need to arrive in Nicosia, and then take a bus to the village of Pedoulas.

mon.jpgPhoto: villa-u-mare.ru

Stavrovouni – Monastery of the Holy Cross

It is considered one of the oldest on the island. It was ordered to be erected by the Roman Empress Helen in 327. She contributed to the spread of Christianity in Cyprus.

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The shrine of Stavrovouni is the cross of the criminal who was crucified next to Jesus and repented of his sins. Tradition says that an angel appeared to Elena, who was waiting for a storm in Cyprus and ordered to build a monastery on the mountain. The Empress had a particle of the Life-giving Cross with her. Elena put the relic in the cross of the prudent robber, who, according to legend, hovered over Troodos. Later, a monastery appeared on the top of the mountain.

Despite the fact that according to legend, the shrine was founded by a representative of the weaker sex, women are not allowed here. Stavrovouni is a men’s monastery, so this place is not suitable for a family visit. The entrance is open for a gentleman’s company. The monks living in Stavrovouni produce incense. Here work masters who paint icons.

It is convenient to visit the shrine with a guided tour. For travelers who are well-versed in the terrain, a car is suitable. There is no public transport in Stavrovuni.

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Monastery of St. Nicholas Koshatnik – an unusual place in Cyprus

The facility is located near Limassol. On the island it is the most “respected” monastery among … cats. In the fourth century, Cyprus was filled with snakes, and the same Roman Empress Helen ordered to get rid of them. For this, about a thousand cats were brought to the island. For several years, furry comrades have coped with creeping reptiles and have become favorites of local residents.

The cats found a home in the monastery of St. Nicholas. It was originally male, and the monks tended the furry hunters. There are many legends associated with Cypriot cats. According to one of them, the animals went to catch the snakes at the sound of the bell, and returned by it.

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In the 20th century, the monastery became a female monastery. The nuns still take care of the tailed inhabitants today. Today about a hundred cats live here.

On the territory of the monastery, souvenirs and olive oil, which is prepared from the local harvest, are sold.

Getting to the holy place, like most monasteries in Cyprus, is better by car. However, you can take a bus to the village of Akrotiri, and from there walk three kilometers.

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Photo: subscribe.ru

Temple of the friend of Christ – the church of St. Lazarus

This is an interesting Orthodox church located in Larnaca. The temple appeared in the 9th century and is still active today. The main relic of this place is the tomb with the relics of Saint Lazarus, who was once resurrected by Jesus Christ. The remains of Lazarus were found in 890. Today any pilgrim and traveler can kiss them.

The temple is made in a rare architectural style – early Christian. It is a stone building with three naves and domes, a high bell tower and small windows. The iconostasis of the church is covered with gold and includes 120 icons.

There is a crypt in the temple, where parishioners are allowed to go down and wash themselves with holy water. There is also a museum here, where you can see church books, robes, icons, etc.

You can get to the holy place by car. The reference point will be the B4 highway. By intercity bus you need to get to the stop “Finikoudes” and walk a little. The city bus # 425 also runs, it reaches almost the place.

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Holidays in Cyprus are a great opportunity to combine beach relaxation with spiritual needs. From May 10, tourists from Russia vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine can get to the island without a PCR test. The rest must undergo research 72 hours before departure.

If you are undecided about where to relax this summer, study tours to Cyprus.

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Author’s tours to Cyprus

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8 days (02 – 09 October and 2 more dates)


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47 000 ₽

from
5 875 ₽

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35 728 ₽


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