Religion in North Cyprus:

 

 

Bellapais Monastery

 

Located in the majestic Five Finger Mountains in Kyrenia, the Bellapais Monastery is a fine example of Gothic architecture, and is thought to have been started between 1198 and 1205, with more sections being added after 1267 and after 1324.

 

Do not miss the refectory where you can admire a nice sample of Gothic art. Explore the priests’ rooms that are located to the east of the courtyard. You will find the dormitories and chamber of accounts on the upper level. Explore the marble tombs in the courtyard, and take in the insignias of the Jerusalem, Lusignans, and the Cyprus Kingdoms, which can be found on the door behind the tombs.

 

In addition to enjoying the historical value and architectural beauty of the Bellapais Monastery, you can also enjoy spending time in a beautiful part of Kyrenia, and enjoying stunning views and surroundings. 

 

 

Antifonitis Church with short walking tour

 

The Antifonitis (alt. Antiphonitis) Church is a beautiful and unusual structure about 20 km away from Kyrenia. This church formed part of the old monastery, and many of the frescoes as well as the entrance date back to the 12th – 15th Century. We combine the visit with a light, about 4 km long walking tour in the spring, where we can observe orchids, rockrose and other botanical items of the Mediterranean Maquis.

 

 

St. Barnabas 

 

St Barnabas is credited with introducing Christianity to Cyprus together with Apostle Paul. His activities displeased the powerful Jewish community in Salamis and their reaction was to stone him to death. His body was buried in a secret location by his cousin Mark. The story might have ended there but, 400 years later, Barnabas appeared in a dream to the Archbishop of Salamis and revealed the location of his tomb. A monastery was founded on the site of the tomb in the 5th century, but the present build dates from 1756. The former monk’s cells around the inner courtyard now house an archaeological collection arranged clockwise from the Bronze Age to the Venetian period. The church is now an icon museum although the best ones were stolen many years ago.

 

 

Old Town Famagusta / St Nicholas Cathedral 

 

In the Old Town of Famagusta you visit the gothic formerly Nicklaus’s Cathedral, which serves nowadays as Lala Musafa Pascha Mosque. Besides you have the opportunity for nice shopping and tasting the nice sweets of the renowned pastry shop Petek.

 

 

St. Mamas and Archaeological Museum 

 

St Mamas is believed to be the protector of tax evaders!... and also an ear, nose and throat specialist under the Cypriot Orthodox saints. We visit the icon museum (former church) and the adjacent archaeological museum with its newest discoveries such as ‘’The Golden Leaves of Soli’’.

 

 

Ruins and mosaics of Soli 

 

The mosaics of the huge St Auxibius basilica exhibit the evolution of mosaics in the 4th and 5th century AD. The Theatre of Soli with a capacity of 5.000 visitors offers marvellous views of the Güzelyurt Bay.

 

 

Lefke Town 

 

The Town Lefke was in the English occupation era an important residential area for miners. In the 10th century BC the Phoenicians started planting date palms, which are still the emblem of the town. A coffee shop on the edge of the valley offers fresh juices and the opportunity to taste and buy different kinds of candy sweets.

 

 

Kormacit Village

 

The spoken languages in Kormacit are Greek and Aramaic (the original language of Jesus Christ). The inhabitants are members of the Maronite Church, which is a Catholic Church with its quarter heads in Lebanon. Many Greek Cypriots and Maronites from the South come on weekends and especially for Eastern Holidays to assist the Holy Mass. Afterwards, they eat Kleftiko (oven baked lamb) at the renowned restaurant ‘’Yorgos’’. 

 

 

Agias Trias 

 

The ruins of the early Christian basilica in the near of the village Sipahi (one of the last spots of Northern Cyprus, where Greek Cypriots are still living) gain their importance from the remarkable floor mosaics.

 

 

Iskele Panagía Theotókos Church 

 

The Panagia Theotokus Church built in the 12th Century was dedicated to St Mary and is a chief masterwork of byzantine architecture and fresco painting art. 

 

 

Dipkarpaz village 

 

Dipkarpaz is one of the rare places, where Greek Cypriots did not leave after the events of 1974 (division of the island) and are still living there in peace, together with North Cypriots and Turks.

 

 

Agios Philon 

 

Here we visit the ruins of the antique town Karpasia, with a fine sandy beach and a nice Restaurant.

 

 

St. Andrews Church 

 

The church has been built on the spot, where - according to the legend- St Andreas found a water source having healing properties for ophthalmic and cutaneous diseases. The place is an important pilgrim destination for orthodox Christians, especially from Southern Cyprus.