Kykkos Monastery

Kykkos Monastery

Kykkos Monastery is the largest and most famous monastery in Cyprus.

It was founded in AD 1100 by the Byzantine emperor Alexios Komnenos, after the hermit Isaiah, who lived in the Troodos mountains, revealed that his daughter could be healed from a rare incurable disease if he would consent to build a monastery and donate to it the icon of the Virgin he possessed, reputedly painted by the Apostle Luke.

The monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Kykkos Monastery is ornately decorated and covered in a silver gilt, enclosed in a tortoiseshell shrine.

It is also famous for its museum which houses an impressive collection of icons, woodcarvings and manuscripts, and other antiquities.

The nearby Troodos Mountains, with magnificent hills and valleys, should also be explored as they are home to nine Byzantine churches, included on UNESCO's World Heritage List, and richly decorated with murals and Byzantine paintings.

Archbishop Makarios III was Orthodox archbishop of Cyprus and the first President of Cyprus. Makarios, the son of a shepherd, was born 13 August 1913. He was elected three times as president, and survived four assassination attempts, temporary deposition by a coup in 1974, and Turkish invasion. He died in Nicosia, on 3August 1977. Makarios served as a novice at Kykko. He was buried at Throni, 3 km west of the Monastery, not far from his birthplace in the village of Panagia according to his wishes.

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