Cyprus Passion

The monastery of Ayios Ioannis (St. John) Lambadistis is located in the valley of Marathassa. In 1985 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List which includes nine other painted Byzantine churches of the Troodos range!

The monastery of Ayios Ioannis (Saint John) Lampadistis is located opposite the village of Kalopanayiotis in the valley of Marathassa up in the Troodos Mountains. This too is UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a complex of three churches – Ioannis Lampadistis, Agios Irakleidios and a Latin chapel – all under a single, timber roof. The monastery function until the 19th century, after that it has been operating as a church until now (2020)

The chapel of Agios Ioannis Lambadistis collapsed for unknown reasons and was rebuilt in the 17th or 18th century under the Ottoman rule. According to the Department of Antiquities, this is probably when a common roof was built for the two older churches.

As stated on a sign located outside the church, written by The Deputy of Antiquities, ”most of the murals in the main church date to the 13th century and are dominated by the Pantocrator (All powerful God) fresco in the vacity of the dome. In addition to the four evangelists, the twelve apostles and several prophets and scenes from the Scriptures, there is a rare depiction of the Holy Mandylion and an even rarer but later representation, on the three vaults of the eastern section, of a majority of the almost uknown other seventy apostles of Christ”

Saint Ioannis who lived in the 10th century, celebrates every 4th of October and was from a small village near Galata village. The saint’s tomb is found under the narrow north-eastern arch while the Saint’s skull is preserved, in a silver-plated reliquary placed in a special niche. The Saint managed to fulfill his purpose at a very young age (22). His grave became famous after a pilgrim had visited the grave and was miraculously cured of his illness. This attracted many pilfrims to the grave.

The central church is dedicated to Saint Heracleidius dated back to 11th Century. The painting decoration of Saint Heracleidius was lost in the 12th century while it is estimated that in the beginning of the 15th century a large part of the church was repainted. Towards the end of the 15th century the ”Latin” chapel was built on the north side of Agios Ioannis. The paintings inside the Latin chapel, are influenced by the Italian Renaissance style.

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