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“Extraordinary Byzantine treasures” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Painted Churches in the Troodos Region

Painted Churches in the Troodos Region
Cyprus
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Type: Religious Sites
Attraction Details
sydney
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Extraordinary Byzantine treasures”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

In five weeks in Cyprus, we visited the following mountain monasteries.
1. Kyyko : overwhelmingly ornate interiors. Note the variety of chandeliers and the exquisite religious items in the adjoining room. The whole place though, suffers from over commercialisation and it's adjacent tourist carnival is just plain ugly.
2.Troodidissa: a gem. The drive here has stunning alpine scenery and you can see monks at work shelling almonds and tending their fruit stall. Quiet,beautiful and again an iconostasis that is a work of art.
3.ioannis tou lambadistis (kalopanayiotis) the wonderful renaissance frescoes in the Latin chapel,the adjoining museum and the several "paraklisses"(small Byzantine chapels) hidden around the village well worth seeking .

Visited October 2012
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39 reviews from our community

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Brussels, Belgium
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
75 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Saint Nicholas of the Roof in Kakopetria - Amazing byzantine art”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

Outside it is a curious barn with two roofs superseding each other. The reason for this odd building solution, which is reflected in the church’s name, is that the original roof construction had to be strengthened to avoid that it collapses in winter under the snow of the Troodos mountains. Inside, the small church is covered from floor to roof with amazing byzantine wall paintings from the 11th to the 17th century. It is like a walk through the history of byzantine art; with a little bit of attention you will notice how the style evolves from extreme rigour to softer forms, how colours and forms of presentation change over the centuries. But also people who do not care about such subtilities will enjoy the immersive experience. The church is small, it is dark and full of mysterious colourful paintings. Could be the setting for one of these mystery thrillers a la Dan Brown or Indiana Jones. And besides it is a UNESCO world heritage site...

Visited June 2012
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Cyprus
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Cyprus painted churches - UNESCO listed”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

Firstly, I am an expatriate resident of Cyprus and have frequently visited the UNESCO Listed Churches of Cyprus over the past 25 years. My most recent visit was last Thursday (19 Sep 12) to Ayios Ioannis Lampadistis Monastery and Ayios Nikolaos tis Steyis, Kakopetria. All I can say is that if you are in Cyprus then some all all of these churches are a must to see. There were problems with obtaining access to many of them but for most, especially during the Summer months, this is a thing of the past. Also, all the churches are well sign-posted off the main roads but a little bit of adventurous spirit is still often needed. If in doubt, the Cyprus Tourist Organisation has a website that gives contact numbers, opening times, etc. Sadly, a number of the church frescos are in a relatively poor state owing to the often severe Winter conditions, lack of maintenance/ravages of time, and the desecration of many by various invaders.

Visited September 2012
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Larnaka, Cyprus
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“just a few out of many”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

Didnt realise how many there are did 4 and they were all different, centuries and in different states of repair. Glad I saw them dont think I would manage all of them!!

Visited August 2012
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Helensburgh, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Painted churches of Cyprus”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

The ten UNESCO designated churches (and many others) in the Troodos mountains are a wonderful treasury of Byzantine art and Christian tradition. However, in opposition to "2seagem" I would like to say that gold is not the predominant feature of the decoration, and that photography is banned! (it would also be useless in many of these little churches as they do not, or maybe are not allowed to, use a great deal of artificial light) It is a lovely experience, especially in the heat of a Cypriot summer, to drive the mountain roads, cooled by the breeze, and find your chosen church! This is sometimes quite a challenge and opening hours vary considerably - finding the custodian (old man/woman or priest) may take time, but persevere, it's worth it.
Some of the churches are actually in the village named in their description, and you can find cafes, toilets etc (sometimes while you wait for the keyholder to appear) but there are some (certainly Asinou and Agios Nikolaos) which are quite remote and take time to find on winding mountain roads. UNESCO money has made better road signs available and often the immediate surroundings of the church have been paved for good access. However, I'm not sure that disabled access would be possible, because of steps, unless careful research was done.
Once found and entered, you will find the custodian a source of great knowledge and love for the building in their care. Most have postcards and books for sale (which may compensate for the no photography rule) Entrance fees are not charged but donations are sought.

Visited June 2012
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