Kykkos Monastery

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Nestled in the picturesque Marathasa Valley, the Monastery of Kykkos reigns as the most opulent and affluent on the island of Cyprus. Perched atop a mountain peak, its majestic presence commands attention at an elevation of 1,318 meters.

Devoted to Panagia, the Virgin Mary, this monastery holds a significant treasure—a revered icon attributed to Agios Loukas, the Evangelist, also known as Apostle Luke. Adorned with silver gilt, the icon rests within a shrine crafted from tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl, prominently displayed in front of the iconostasis.

Legend tells of a miraculous healing by Cypriot hermit Isaiah, who restored the health of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos’ daughter (1081-1118 AD). As a token of gratitude, Isaiah requested the precious icon. Despite the emperor’s sorrow in parting with such a treasure, he sent it to Cyprus, along with funds for the construction of a monastery dedicated to safeguarding this sacred relic. Throughout history, the monastery has faced multiple fires, resulting in the loss of the original structure, leaving no remnants behind.

Today, the Monastery of Kykkos not only serves as a place of worship but also engages in the production of Zivania spirit and other alcoholic beverages. It commemorates religious festivities on September 8th (Birth of the Virgin) and August 15th (Dormition of the Virgin), attracting devoted pilgrims. Within its premises, visitors can explore a museum that showcases its rich history. Notably, this monastery holds special significance as it once served as the spiritual home for Archbishop Makarios III, the first President of Cyprus, during his time as a novice.