February 24, 2020

Panayia Absinthiotissa Monastery

Panayia Absinthiotissa Monastery


Panayia Absinthiotissa Monastery is a famous monastery found at the mountain foothold of the city of Pentadaktylos. This is an old Greek monastery which was built during the time period when the region was largely inhabited by the Greek Cypriots. In order to reach the monastery, one has to move towards the southern side of the mountain foothold. The nearest villages to the monastery are named as Sychari and Vouno. This site is also under the de facto control of Northern Cyprus. De facto refers to the facts and practices which are applicable and exists in real life but these practices are not officially recognized by the law and government of this particular state. This practice refers to the acts which occur in real life in contrast to the acts which should be done under the law and constitution of the particular country and is known and de jury.

Naming the Monastery:

This monastery was given the name after the name of a common shrub. This shrub-covered the entrance of the building in the sense that a person can easily hide in these bushes, which a monk used to hide away during the time period of the Byzantium attack over the region. Many years later, the inhabitants of the local villages saw a light coming from the building and found an icon there. Once found these individuals built a building around the icon and started using the building as a monastery. This building was hence made on the name of Virgin and wormwood bush due to their extreme importance in this whole event.


All this event is thought to have occurred during the time period of the twelfth century. Another prove of the construction time of this building is the presence of the cross in the square plane of the byzantine type which is sheltered by a high dome. Such a sort of building is usually found in the regions of byzantine reigns. There is a narthex present on the western side of this monastery which contains simple gothic rib vaulting and can be traced back to about the fifteenth century. In the year 2003 when a group of Turkish and Cypiotic architects listed the buildings which were to be renovated, as they were either damaged by the effects of recent wars or the fire which had broken in the region in the year 1995. Along with a number of other buildings, Panayia Absinthiotissa Monastery was one of them.

How To Reach?

In order to reach the Panayia Absinthiotissa Monastery, one has to move south of the range in the forests. A building will be visible which will be seen across the Mesarya. This Panayia Absinthiotissa Monastery was built during the ending periods of byzantine reign in the region. This Panayia Absinthiotissa Monastery was then raided by the Latin monks. In order to carry out their own religious prayers here in the late fifteenth century.

Inside the Monastery:

Signs of both the Byzantine and Latin monks can be seen in the building. And the structure of this building in the sense that there is a presence of the cross in the square plane of the byzantine type. Which is sheltered by a high dome and there is a narthex present on the western side of this monastery. It contains simple gothic rib vaulting and can be traced back to about the fifteenth century. This building was again restored in the year 1960. Just to be destroyed in the war between the Turkish and Cypriot forces in the year 1974.

Despite the bad condition of Panayia Absinthiotissa Monastery it still gets visited by a number of individuals. In order to reach here, this tour takes a detour. From the path of joining the two cities of Kyrenia and Nicosia. The path is fairly easy, one has to turn east from the main road on the road moving towards Asagi Dikmen. From this junction, it is about the twenty-minute drive on a single-sided road. Once you will enter the village, you will notice a huge Turkish Cypiotic Flag and an Ataturk Slogan painted on the wall.

Once past these signs, you will reach a junction opposite the central shop, there will be a relatively paved path adjacent to this shop. Continuing on this path, there will be a diversion on this after about 500 meters. Taking a right on this path, moving away from the gravel pit. One will have to take another right when reached across the water tank.


These tourists can see this Panayia Absinthiotissa Monastery all along the path. Hence there is only a small chance of these individuals forgetting the path or losing the original path. One can reach there quite easily on foot but mostly the individuals reach there on 4WD vehicles. In order to avoid getting their shoes dirty by the mud on the way. Once near the Panayia Absinthiotissa Monastery, the twelve windows and the dome is quite visible from a long distance. Moving closer to the Panayia Absinthiotissa Monastery, you will notice the narthex. Which was added here by the Latin monks in the year the 1500s’. Most of the artifacts were stolen from here in the year 1974 by the Turkish forces. Hence the only thing to appreciate is the refectory.

Internal link: https://turkish.co.uk/panayia-absinthi…-greek-monastery/

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