February 6, 2020

Sourp Magar Monastery

Sourp Magar Monastery

In order to get to the Sourp Magar Monastery, one has to start from the watershed of the village across the signed board of Alevkaya.

Moving from the northern coast of the sea, one cannot help noticing the huge Besparmak. This mountain is also known by the islanders as the Five Finger Mountain. Due to the structure of the mountain and the five long pathways visibly going up from the base. It is situated on the eastern end of the Kyrenia-Nicosia bypass. The mountain is not of very great height, having a modest elevation of about 740 meters from the sea level. However, the shape of the mountain has made it quite difficult to reach the top and thus leading to a great legend of times. Most of the Greek inhabitants of the area used to say that one of the byzantine hero named as Akritas has left prints of his hand hereafter leaping across the sea from Anatolia.

The Route:

In order to get to the Sourp Magar Monastery, one has to start from the watershed of the village across the signed board of Alevkaya. From here turning left towards the mountain and moving on the dirt path will be the start of this journey to the Sourp Magar Monastery. This dirt part is basically the forest path and leads into a twisty path towards the Sourp Magar Monastery. The starting kilometer or so is a dirt path but this rough path does not continue for long. After about a kilometer the rest of the path is paved into a proper road.

Although not so smooth road is built yet the path is made that can be walked on easily. Moving on this path for about 7 kilometers will lead you to an open space where you will have a look at the remains of Sourp Magar Monastery. The building is somewhat roofless due to the number of natural disasters and the long period of time this Sourp Magar Monastery been there.


This Sourp Magar Monastery was built in the 11 century by the Copts of that time. Sourp Magar Monastery was then invaded by the Armenian community of the region. Armenian community kept Sourp Magar Monastery in its original glory with keeping the building renovated at all times. And arranging an event in May of every year until 1974. After the year 1974, the Turkish forces took control over the Sourp Magar Monastery. And left the building as it is to be damaged by the natural changes of time. Moving towards these ruins on a sidetrack one can see the green patch with two picnic tables. Placed there by the local inhabitants and a green placid place for the tourist to stop and have a breath. Alongside this area is a water sprout having fresh water. Which is declared to be clean enough to be drunk by the local inhabitants.

Other than the walls of Sourp Magar Monastery nothing is there. This Sourp Magar Monastery was totally destroyed by the Turkish forces as a result of the dispute of these forces with the Greek inhabitants living there. Clearing all the buildings and artifacts coming their way. These Turkish forces destroyed almost everything. One can only see the forest in this region surrounding the walls which shows the remains of Sourp Magar Monastery.

The Outrage of the Armenian Community:

In the year 1998, an outrage broke in the local Armenian community of the southern area. This was due to the fact that they came to know that the Turkish Northern authorities are giving this site to a local businessman. In order to restore the building into a hotel. This outrage, however, had no advantage against the scheme. And the area was allotted to the individual for the restoration of this Sourp Magar Monastery. The Armenian community had nothing else to do but to wait. To be a part of the queue which is waiting for a long period of time in order to sue the Turkish force. For the actions, they have done in the past against them.

Around the Monastery:

Moving from this Sourp Magar Monastery towards the east, one can reach to another pathway. It was paved into these forests about 100 meters away from the current location. This road leads to the main expressway between the two cities of Nicosia-Ercan. And is known as the Nicosia-Ercan airport expressway. Moving on the right from here about 300 meters from here. One will reach the large picnic point around the station of the region named as Alevkaya. In the year 1989 when the Turkish was distributing the buildings for the renovation process, this building was also allotted to a local businessman. This individual did a pretty good job and created a building that is known to us as North Cyprus Herbarium.


This building is open for all the visitors from 08:00 am to 04:00 pm for the visitors to come and gaze upon the historical building. This building has preserved more than thousands of different specimens of the plants available in the adjacent areas and preserved these specimen in the form of books, converting the space into more of a library or a research area. However, this place also offers the services of a number of floral experts available in the adjacent areas for guiding the individuals through the forests.

Internal link: https://turkish.co.uk/sourp-magar-monastery/

Outbound link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sourp_Magar_Monastery,_Cyprus

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