Saturday, May 10, 2014

Agios Ioannis Lampadistis Monastery

The Agios Ioannis Lampadistis Monastery (also known as Agios Ioannis Lambadistis Monastery and the Saint John Lampadistis Monastery) is located in Kalopanagiotis Village in the Marathasa Valley, which is within the Nicosia district of Cyprus.

This monastery features three churches, including the Agios Irakleidios Church, the Holy Church of Ioannis Lampadistis, and the Latin Chapel.

The Agios Irakleidios Church (also known as Agios Herakleidios Church), originally built in the 11th century, was dedicated to the first Bishop of Cyprus.

The Ioannis Lampadistis Church (also known as the Holy Church of Ioannis Lampadistis and the Chapel of Agios Ioannis Lambadistis) was built in the 12th century, yet it collapsed, and the church was rebuilt later.

The Latin Chapel was built in the 15th century.

In the 17th or 18th century, the Ioannis Lampadistis Church was rebuilt, and a common roof was built over all three churches.

During the 15th century, the church buildings were transformed into a monastery, and two wings of monks' cells were built along the sides of the courtyard.

According to a sign at the monastery, "The chapel of Agios Ioannis Lambadistis collapsed for reasons unknown and was rebuilt in the 17th or 18th century, as a vaulted church, under Ottoman rule.  This may also have led to the creation of a common roof for the two older churches.  Only the chapel's apse and part of the north wall date to the 12th century where traces of paintings are still visible.  Most of the murals in the main church date to the 13th century....  Towards the end of the 15th century the Latin chapel was built on the north side of Agios Ioannis.  Its 16th century frescoes depict scenes from the Old Testament or the Akathistos, a famous hymn in honor of the Virgin Mary.  Their painter is heavily influenced by the Italian Renaissance style, hence its name Italo-Byzantine."

Since the 19th century, the Agios Ioannis Lampadistis Monastery has not housed any monks; instead the monastery buildings are utilized as a church and museum.

The Museum of Byzantine Art (also known as the Byzantine Museum of Saint Ioannis Lampadistis) is located within the monastery, which is considered an important Byzantine monument in Cyprus.

In 1985, this monastery, along with nine other Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches in Cyprus, were added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

According to this website, the Agios Ioannis Lampadistis Monastery and other Cypriot churches were added as World Heritage Site, due to the following three points: "They constitute a testimony to the Byzantine culture on the island.  They are important monuments of rural ecclesiastical architecture preserved in very good condition.  The art of these churches have elements which show the relation between Eastern and Western Christian art."

The Agios Ioannis Lampadistis Monastery is a lovely place to visit for locals and tourists.

Site: Agios Ioannis Lampadistis Monastery. 

Category: Monastery and Museum. 

Location: Kalopanagiotis Village in the Marathasa Valley, within the Nicosia district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 22952580 and 99476149. 

Operating Hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Tuesday to Sunday, and closed on Monday, during the winter months.  8:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Tuesday to Sunday, and closed on Monday, during the summer months. 

Entrance Fee: Free. 

Date of Visit: 2011.

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