Kykkos Monestary, the richest in Cyprus

Kykkos Monestary, the most famous and richest in Cyprus

The monastery of Panagia tou Kykkou, widely known as "Kykkos", is the most famous and richest in Cyprus and is located on the outskirts of the Troodos area, on a mountaintop at 1318 meters altitude, 15 km west of Pedoulas and Marathasa valley. The monastery is often condescendingly described by guidebooks, but will be able to tell you more about the Greek Cypriots and their religion today than all the venerable churches in Troodos combined. Add President Makarios Tomb and the nearby EOKA hideaways, and thus you have what you need in order to understand modern Cyprus.

The original monastery was established at the end of the eleventh century by the Byzantine emperor, although none of the original buildings have survived the many fires that have swept through the region. Nothing in today's monastery survived the last fire in 1831, although the famous icon of the Virgin Mary appears to have fared miraculously. It is dedicated to Panagia and possesses one of three icons attributed to Agios Loukas the Evangelist. The icon is silver plated and is in a shrine made of tortoise shell and mother of pearl that precedes iconostasis.

Kykkos monastery is the richest on the island, and it shows in many ways. The buildings are immaculately maintained, murals vivid and bright, and the monks many. The wealth grew, partly because of the icon's appeal, and partly because many people donated their money to the church during Ottoman times, instead of seeing values lost due to heavy Ottoman taxes.

The first president of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III, served here as a novice. At his own request, he was buried on top of Throni, three kilometers west of the monastery, and not far from the village where he grew up, Panayia. The monastery produces zivania (liquor) and a selection of other alcoholic beverages, and organizes religious fairs on September 8 (Virgin´s birth) and 15 August (Virgin's death).

Here is the link to a Wikipedia article about Kykkos monastery:


Kykkos Monastery