Ayia Napa Monastery

1514

Circa. 1600 AD …
In the centre of Ayia Napa, just below the square and Ambassaden Bar on the entrance to nightlife street, stands the magnificent 16th Century Monastery, built when Cyprus was the sovereignty of the Venetians, to mark the spot where an Icon of The Virgin Mary of Napes, aka ‘Our Lady of the Forests’ was found in the little cave, which is now the little church, and btw it’s how Ayia Napa gets its name; Ayia meaning Saint and Napa, Holy Forest …

It was extensively renovated in 1950 as part of the maintenance scheme for historic buildings and in 1990 a new church was built within the grounds, and adjacent to the monastery to meet with the growing population, then only about 2000 people …

Sycamore Tree
At the top of the steps, just before the south entrance, stands an enormous, majestic, 600-year-old Sycamore tree, once part of the forest, now a solo retreat from the heat, plus plenty of flora, and delicious lush green grass, especially in the well kept gardens, often favoured by local photographers for a perfect backdrop for the wedding album …

Myth ?
A lovely story; It’s said that couples having difficulties getting pregnant, come here every day to prey for assistance in healthy fertility from the Saint of Ayia Napa and are often blessed with her good wishes …

Tranquil & Serine
Inside it’s like time stood still, cobbled walkways under weather worn stone arched terraces, the central font, a perfect place to sit and think … It’s strange coz with all the hustle and bustle just outside the walls of the monastery, inside its amazingly tranquil and serine …

A mini museum
Exhibits homes of times past and memorabilia of old and a souvenir shop for memories of your visit, maybe one of the beautiful hand made gifts … oh, and don’t miss the ancient chapel, just down a few steps, it will take you back a few more centuries … The Church’s annual remembrance is on the Feast of The Virgin Mary, celebrated on 8th September …

Courtyard
In the court yard they hold festivals and celebrations around the religious calendar but occasional music, dance and cultural festivals and The Square Cafe on the edge of the courtyard is a great choice if you just want an ice cold drink or delicious coffee so you can chill and watch the world go by … love the live music here btw 😉

I was privileged to hold my wedding ceremony here many years ago and just have to say it was a perfect choice !

It’s a must visit if you are in Ayia Napa …

More …

Photos by Mell and RR, 2005
Copyright; What’s On Cyprus