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Painted Churches in the Tro÷dos Region

Painted Churches in the Tro÷dos Region
The Painted Churches in the Tro÷dos Region are 9 Byzantine churches and monasteries in the Tro÷dos Mountains. What they have in common is that they all are covered with old and colorful frescoes. Some of them date from as early as the 11th century.

Another feature of some of these churches is that they are two buildings in one: on the inside there's the classical form of a Byzantine church, on the outside it often looks like a stable or a farm. The extra layer on the outside was constructed to be able to cope with the heavy snowfall that can occur in the Tro÷dos Mountains.

Year Decision Comments
1985 Inscribed Reasons for inscription



Visit May 2001

Far away, deep in the heart of Cyprus, a number of very old and special churches can be found. They are like hidden treasures, and also in the age of paved roads and cars it takes some stamina to visit them.

Of the 9 enlisted churches, I visited 3: Panagia tou Asinou, Panagia tou Araka and Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis. Although they won their inclusion in the list mainly because of their interiors, I fell for their simple outside beauty. Often "just" a robust stone building, but in the best natural settings you can think of.

More photos can be found in the Picture Gallery

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Reviews

John Booth (New Zealand):
Over two days I managed to visit all ten of the listed painted churches. This involved driving through magnificent autumn scenery, along steep winding roads, wel;l worth the effort. Of the 10 churches:

1 was closed for restoration (Pelendria)
2 were unrestored but open to visitors (Moutouilas and Kakopetria)
2 were restored but closed (Palaichori and Platanistasa)
5 were restored and open to visitors (Galata, Pedoulas, Lagoudera, Nikitari and St John's Monastery).

Of the ten churches only Nikiteri and Lagoudera rated 'spectacular' frescoes, while others were damaged or patchy.
Date posted: January 2014
Assif Am-David (Israel):
Of all the Troodos churches, I've only been to the only one easily accessible by public transport from Nikosia - the one in Galata. We took the effort to go there from Famagusta in Northern Cyprus and were very much disappointed. The paintings were nice but nothing out of the ordinary. I have seen much more beautiful ones even in Nicosia. Only the paintings in the apsis survived (and one other fragment) which was also a bad surprise as I imagined them to cover the entire church (again like in Nicosia). The church was badly lit (in order to preserve the frescoes) and the apsis which is the only interesting section of the church was not accessible to anyone but the local priest. So even in the dusky inner room of the church we still had to admire the paintings through a wall! A (partial) compensation for this unrewarding visit was the nearby charming village of Kakopetria with its cubbled streets. I sure hope the rest of the Troodos churches are better!
Date posted: May 2009
Kang Chong (Malaysia):
I visited the Metamorphosis Church (one of the inscribed churches) in the mountains. The most interesting experience for me was knocking on a few doors near the church to finally get the "keeper of the key" to open the church for us. And the beautiful frescos in the church was worth all the effort. No exception as well to the beautiful location the church was situated and the friendly people we met on the way up the mountains. Definitely worth a visit!
Date posted: October 2005


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