Hello! First I would like to say thank you to Josephine’s parents for the nice comment. I am glad you are following the blog. It always motivates me to continue working on it.
I am still describing our trip to the Troodos Mountains on Monday, July 11.
In the central part of Cyprus, in the mountains of the Troodos range, some of the most important monuments of the history of Byzantine painting have survived. These are the painted churches which have to this day preserved brilliant examples of various trends of Byzantine and post-Byzantine monumental art, from the 11th to the 19th century. Ten of these churches have, so far been granted World Cultural Heritage status by UNESCO.
Here is the small village of Omodos with its famous monastery:
Holy Cross (Timios Stavros) Church. The ornament and true pride & joy of Omodos is the Monastery of the Holy and Life-giving Cross, built at the heart of the community. It rises majestically and with its imposing presence it becomes a significant part of Cyprus’s cultural heritage. The Monastery of the Holy Cross is one of the oldest and most historic monasteries of the island.
According to tradition, one night the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages observed a fire in some bushes at the area where the monastery stands today. When it dawned they went to the spot where the fire was seen but there was no sign. This phenomenon repeated for several nights. So they started to dig the earth, discovering a small cave in which they found the Cross. In order to thank the Lord, they constructed a chapel over the cave and kept their precious treasure there, which became a sacred place of adoration for them. With the passage of time the chapel expanded and was converted into a Monastery with many monks and a vast fortune.
According to tradition, the Monastery was established before St. Helen’s arrival in Cyprus in 327 AD. The exact date of establishment is unknown. Perhaps it existed before the village and Omodos was later established around the monastery.
Various historians of Cyprus such as Neofytos Rodinos, the Russian monk and traveller Barsky, the Dean Kyprianos and others, refer to St. Helen’s visit to Cyprus and to the fact that she left a part of the Holy Rope and the Holy Rood in the Monastery. This rope, with which the Romans bound Christ to the Cross, is described as red coloured and “stained by the blood of Christ”. (Source: http://omodosvillage.com/com)
Our guide is pointing at the relic of the Holy Rope:
After a short coffee break we are heading to another cute small town with historic churches – Kakopetria
Very rare and precious Byzantine frescoes:
We had lunch in a gorgeous restaurant beside an old mill in a very beautiful old village:
This beautiful panoramic picture was taken by one of our group members – Thelma. Thank you Thelma for sharing!!
To end this post I would like to show how cute was the little town of Kakopetria:
Narrow streets, old houses and balconies everywhere: