Cyprus Passion

Nestled in the picturesque village of Pano Panayia in the Paphos district, Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery stands as a testament to Cyprus’ rich ecclesiastical history and cultural heritage. Founded in the 12th century by Monk Ignatius, this serene sanctuary is dedicated to Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate, reflecting its name which translates to the “Monastery of Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate.”

The monastery’s origins are steeped in legend. According to tradition, Monk Ignatius discovered an icon of the Virgin Mary off the coast of Paphos, believed to have been cast into the sea in Asia Minor to protect it from iconoclasts. This sacred discovery led to the establishment of Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery in 1152, marking the beginning of its long-standing religious significance.

Architecturally, Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery is a marvel. The main church, an elegant structure adorned with frescoes and icons, epitomizes Byzantine artistry. The iconostasis, a finely crafted wooden screen separating the nave from the sanctuary, is particularly striking, featuring intricate carvings and gilded details. Visitors are often captivated by the serene ambiance of the church, which fosters a sense of spiritual reflection and tranquility.

Beyond its religious function, Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery is renowned for its contributions to viticulture. The monastery’s winery, established in the 1980s, has gained a reputation for producing some of the finest wines in Cyprus. The monks employ traditional methods to cultivate vineyards and produce wines that have garnered numerous accolades. A visit to the winery offers a unique opportunity to sample these exceptional wines while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.


The monastery’s annual feast day on August 15th, celebrating the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, is a vibrant event drawing pilgrims and visitors from across the island and beyond. The festivities include religious ceremonies, processions, and cultural activities, showcasing the enduring traditions of Cypriot Orthodox Christianity. Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery also houses a museum, where an impressive collection of religious artifacts, manuscripts, and vestments is on display. These exhibits provide insight into the historical and spiritual journey of the monastery, highlighting its role as a custodian of Cypriot heritage.

In recent years, efforts have been made to preserve and restore the monastery, ensuring that its architectural splendor and cultural significance endure for future generations. The tranquil setting of Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery, coupled with its rich history and cultural offerings, makes it a must-visit destination for those exploring the Paphos region.

In conclusion, Chrysoroyiatissa Monastery is more than just a religious site; it is a symbol of Cyprus’ enduring spiritual legacy and a beacon of cultural heritage. Its historical significance, architectural beauty, and contributions to local viticulture make it a unique and cherished landmark in the heart of Pano Panayia, Paphos.

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