Ten UNESCO World Heritage Site Churches in the Troodos Mountain Range
Organizers: Ourania Perdiki and Charalambos Petsas
Visitors are picked up at the airport and shuttled to the hotel in Nicosia.
Things get underway with a visit to Saint John’s Cathedral on the grounds of the Archbishop’s Palace in Nicosia. After that come the Byzantine Museum, the Folk Art Museum and the National Struggle Museum. The tour continues with stops at the Church of Panagia Phaneromeni, the Church of Michael Trypiotis and the Church of Saint Savvas. A light meal with local cheeses and meats will energize visitors for a visit to the George and Nepheli Tziapras Pierides Museum, which maintains an eclectic collection of antiquities. A relaxing saunter around Nicosia’s historic commercial district will cap the program of visits on day 2. Visitors will then be taken to the hotel for rest and dinner.
The historic region of Tamasos is at the top of the agenda for day 3. Visitors will first be taken to the Cave of Panagia Chrysospiliotissa and then to the Saint Heraklidios Convent–the dedicatee was the first disciple of Apostles Paul and Barnabas and the first ordained bishop in the island’s history. Next stop, the Tamasos and Orini Diocese for a meeting with incumbent Bishop Isiah. A couple of brief presentations will be given by the program organizers before the group heads to Pera, to see the Church of Archangel Michael. Lunch at an establishment in the village of Palaichori comes before visits to the Church of the Transfiguration and the Palaichori Byzantine Heritage Museum. After those, visitors will get to see two more historic churches from the fifteenth century, the Church of Saint John the Baptist and the Church of Saint Christina–both in the village of Askas. Pelendri is the next point on the day’s itinerary for a viewing of the Church of the Holy Cross, a twelfth century building, and a brief talk by the program organizers titled “The Church of Cyprus in the Early Christian Era”. The day ends back at the hotel in Nicosia with rest and dinner.
The day kicks off with a visit to the Church of Saint Cyprian in the village of Meniko. For those interested, the local pastor will read Saint Cyprian’s prayer, which the pious believe to ward off the evil eye. Moving along, visitors will be taken to the churches of Saint Barnabas and Saint Hilarion, both in Peristerona, before heading to Asinou for a look at the Church of Panagia Forviotissa. Here the program organizers will deliver two brief presentations on art and architecture during Cyprus’ byzantine period–the first focusing on art during the reign of the Komnenos dynasty and the second on aspects of church architecture in the Troodos area. The village of Lagoudera is the day’s next stop for a visit to the Church of Panagia tou Araka, and from there on to Platanistasa to visit the Church of the Holy Cross of Agiasmati–both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis (Saint Nicholas of the Roof) in Kakopetria comes next before a break for lunch at one of the restaurants in the village. Final stop of the day, the Panagia Podithou Church in Galata, where the program organizers will give another short talk titled “Italo-byzantine Art in Cyprus”. After that, it’s back to the hotel in Nicosia for rest and dinner.
An early morning visit to the Kykkos Monastery is on the agenda for day 5. It is a rather spectacular edifice among whose valued possessions is an icon of Panagia Eleousa thought to have been painted by Saint Luke the Evangelist. After a look at the exhibits of the Kykkos Museum the program organizers will give a brief talk on Cyprus’ stauropegic monasteries. The next two stops are the Church of the Archangel Michael in Pedoulas and the Church of the Virgin Mary in Moutoullas, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The program organizers will give a talk on crusade-era art in Cyprus with a particular focus on workshops around the Troodos area. Last item on the day’s agenda, the Church of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis in Kalopanagiotis, after which visitors will return to the hotel for rest and dinner.
Idalion is the first stop on the itinerary on day 6, an ancient kingdom that was the epicenter of a cult of Adonis, the mythical lover of the goddess Aphrodite. At the Idalion Museum the program organizers will give a talk titled “Cyprus’ Ancient Kingdoms”. Following that, visits to three churches of historical significance: the Church of Saint Mamas, a fifteenth century construction; the Church of Agios Demetrianos Andriotis; and the Chapel of Saint George the Trophy Bearer. Visitors will then be shuttled to Larnaca to see the Church of Saint Lazarus, which dates from the tenth century and houses the tomb and relics of its dedicatee. After a look at the Larnaca Castle visitors will enjoy lunch at a seaside restaurant. A visit to the Church of Panagia Angeloktisti comes after luck, where the program organizers will illuminate visitors on important aspects of mural art in Cyprus. The day ends back at the hotel with rest and dinner.
A free day, ideal for shopping and leisure.
Visitors will be shuttled to the airport.