Monastery of Agios Neofytos

Cyprus Sightseeing

Paphos, Cyprus / May 06, 2012

The monastery is situated about 10 km north of Paphos near Tala village. There you can see Byzantine icons dating from the 12th to 15th centuries.

Saint Neofytos (Agios Neofytos, Agios Neophytos, Αγιος Νεοφυτος) was born in Kato Dhrys (a small village in the Larnaca district of Cyprus) in 1134 AD. According to tradition, he was supposed to be married, but he ran away and sought refuge in the Agios Krysotomos Monastery.

However, Neofytos was soon discovered and taken back home, but he convinced his parents that he should live a monastic life instead of marriage.

The entrance of the complex Monastery of Agios Neofytos - the modern monastery buildings

He moved to Paphos, and carved his home out of a mountain rock in 1159 AD, and then continued lived in the caves. The caves that are simply cut from a rock in the hill are located about 100 meters from the modern monastery. The "Egkleistra" (the cave monastery) in the background

The "Egkleistra" ( the cave monastery) in the background

The "Encleistra" of Agios Neofytos are natural caves that Agios Neophytos finished carving out of the hill to create small rooms. Due to the caves, the Agios Neofytos Monastery is sometimes known as the cave monastery.

Most of the previous monastery doesn't exist today. However, some of the some cave rooms survived, including the Timios Stavros Chapel (also known as the Holy Cross Chapel) and Neofytos' first cave home, as well as the Agios Ioannis Prodromos Chapel (also known as Saint John the Baptist Chapel) and Neofytos' second cave home. There are frescoes (wall paintings) from the Byzantine era that Neofytos and some of this followers painted, which were restored in 1992.

The cave monastery The bridge

The “Egkleistra” contains some of the finest Byzantine frescoes from the 12th to the15th centuries. Since Neofytos attracted many followers, this disrupted his desire for solitude. So, he excavated another cave for himself even higher up the hill, as well as a small chapel dedicated to Agios Ioannis Prodromos next to it.

Monastery of Agios Neofytos

The current monastery, Agios Neofytos Monastery, was built in the 15th century, and it includes a collection of buildings with a church in the center. The monastery's church was built about 200 years after Neofytos' death, and it's a basilica with a dome that has Venetian architectural influence.

The entrance of the new monastery The new monastery buildings

The basilica - the later monastery church

The basilica - the later monastery church

Venetian style monastery buildings

Venetian style monastery buildings

Very old olive tree

Very old olive tree

The later monastery church contains some of the best examples of post - Byzantine icons of the 16th century, and there is also a very interesting ecclesiastical museum.

The later monastery church

The later monastery church

The later monastery church

Monastery of Agios Neofytos

Monastery of Agios Neofytos

Agios Neofytos (Saint Neophytos) founded the monastery in 1159. He lived there and died in 1219 at the age of 85.

Agios Neofytos (Saint Neophytos)

Gardens in the monastery at Agios Neofytos.

Gardens in the monastery at Agios Neofytos.

Gardens in the monastery at Agios Neofytos.

Gardens in the monastery at Agios Neofytos.

Monastery of Agios Neofytos

Monastery of Agios Neofytos

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