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Kalopanayiotis village

монастырь Святого Иоанна Лампадиста

Another pearl of the Troodos range is the village of Kalopanayiotis. It is located to the north-west from the top of Olympus. The main attraction of the village is the monastery of St. John Lampadistis, which was founded in ΧΙ century, and since 1985 is under the protection of UNESCO.

You can go from both cities Limassol and Nicosia to Kalopanagiotis. But it should be noted that the road leading to Troodos from Limassol is a tortuous and tedious one. And if you go to Kalopanayiotis through Nicosia, the segment of serpentine dirt road will be minimal. The trip to Kalopanayiotis can be combined with a visit to the village Menico, where the famous temple of saints Cyprian and Justina is located. Agreeably, the more interesting places included in the route, the more fun the trip becomes.

So, if you go to Kalopanayiotis from Nicosia, the journey’s time is approximately 40 minutes. In summer, this route does not seem like such a beauty, because all the fields on the plains have been burned out by the hot sun. When you go deep into the mountains, the palette’s color varies considerably. Orange and yellow tones blends with green, olive-green and dark green. Even without knowing the terrain, you will not get lost. Moving along the track Β9, carefully follow the signs. After passing turns at Akaki, Peristerona, Astromeritis, after the petrol station in 200 meters, turn right. After turning to the village you will continue for about 20 km. Near the village there is a large reservoir. Stunning views accompany the reservoir at the entrance of the village. Nearby, the small restaurant serves fresh trout, which is farmed at a local trout farm.

 

the monastery of St. John LampadistisKalopanayiotis villageKalopanayiotis villagethe monastery of St. John Lampadistis

Kalopanagiotis, unlike Lefkara and Pissouri is not a promoted tourist destination, but in recent years the local authorities have made great strides in improving the tourism infrastructure. Especially popular with the locals is the hotel “Casale Panayiotis”. It is located in the heart of the village and accomodates visitors all year round.

A modern SPA center also is available at “Casale Panayiotis”. Next to the hotel, there is on a wide wooden bridge, thrown over the gorge, from where you can go straight to the monastery. Walking across the bridge, you can see the bottom of the mountain river  Setrahos flowing. In summer it is more like a creek, but in winter and closer to spring it is filled with water from the rain and snow and it is truly affluent.

 

Кalopanayiotis village

According to tradition it was in this river that the Apostle Paul baptized Heracleides, who believed in Christ, in whose honor the church originally built near the river Setrahos was named. Many years later, the church became part of the monastery, in which John, who decided to dedicate his life serving God, settled. Since then, as John began to pursue asceticism in the monastery, miracles of healing began to become known at the monastery, so after years, the monastery was renamed in his honor.

The relics of St. John, who was consecrated a saint are still buried in the chapel of the monastery. There, on the wall, you can see the names of the many pilgrims who came to Cyprus to append to the saint’s relics and get help.

Tales of miraculous healing, have survived, which are backed by scientific explanation. Next to the monastery there is a source rich in hydrogen sulfide. Due to significant concentrations of hydrogen sulfide the water cannot be drunk, but locals come here and collect water for baths.

 

 the monastery of St. John Lampadistis the monastery of St. John Lampadistis

Currently, there is only one monastery church, the rest of the monastery complex is a monument of this most cultural and spiritual heritage. Most of the buildings of the monastery were reconstructed several times throughout the centuries. Especially valuable are the many murals of the ΧΙ-ΧΙΙ century that decorate the interior of the church. Also particularly noteworthy is the wooden iconostasis of the ΧΙII-ΧIV century, which is one of the oldest in Cyprus.

a Venetian bridge in the village of KalopanayiotisLeaving the monastery, do not be lazy to go down the river. There, in the shade of trees, the Byzantine stone bridge is hidden. Near the bridge lies a large tree: a peach tree. I do not know about you, but for me, picking the tree’s fruit straight from the tree always seem to taste better!

History lovers can visit the village and the museum, which contains various works of art from the Byzantine period. It was founded in 2000 in an old parish school.

If, at this point you have already had a few hunger bangs, I advise you to go to the restaurant “Panayiotis Castle.” A full meal there will cost you about 25 euros per person. Not very cheap, but believe me, it’s worth it. Especially delicious are the Greek dishes of eggplant, minced meat and tomato sauce, called “paputtsakya”. Those who want to enjoy good wine, after dinner, are advised to go a little further away down the street in the tasting room. There, within the cozy peaceful atmosphere you can taste all kinds of wine. It is highly advisable to agree in advance who in your group will be responsible for driving because after tasting the various wines, you will be back on the way home through the serpentine mountain roads.

The village really makes a good impression on you, and given the already implemented projects, you can imagine how it will change in the near future. I am sure that this picturesque place is popular with tourists in summer and winter.

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