Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ayia Napa Monastery

The Ayia Napa Monastery (also known as the Agia Napa Monastery) is centrally located in the city of Ayia Napa, which is within the Famagusta district of Cyprus.

It's unknown when the Ayia Napa Monastery was originally founded.  However, there's a cave that dates back to the Byzantine era.  According to tradition, a hunter found the Icon of the Virgin Mary in the cave, which became a church.

Another legend indicates that a noble Venetian family's daughter sought refuge in the cave, when her parents wouldn't allow her to marry a non-aristocrat.  The monastery was named after the Icon of the Virgin Mary of Napes, which refers to Our Lady of the Forests or the Saint of the Woods.

The current monastery building was completed in the 15th century, during Venetian rule.  The Ayia Napa Monastery, which is surrounded by a high wall, was built similarly to a medieval castle.

Over the years, this complex has served as a monastery and nunnery.  After 1758, the Ayia Napa Monastery was no longer utilized as a home for the monks nor nuns.

In 1813, the monastery was repaired and rented to be utilized by local farmers.  After 1878, the monastery became the main church of the community.

Then, in 1950, extensive repairs on the monastery were completed, and it was also restored in 1978.  Now, the monastery is an interesting historical and cultural site to visit.

In front of the south gate (or entrance) of the Ayia Napa Monastery, there's a sycamore tree, which is believed to be over 600 years old. 

The Ayia Napa Monastery is a lovely ancient site, and it's an ideal place for both tourists and locals to explore.

Site: Ayia Napa Monastery. 

Category: Monastery and Archaeological Site. 

Location: Centrally located in the city of Ayia Napa, within the Famagusta district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 23721284 and 23721288. 

Operating Hours: 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM on Monday to Sunday, during the winter months.  9:30 AM to 9:00 PM on Monday to Sunday, during the summer months. 

Entrance Fee: Free. 

Date of Visit: 2011.

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