1735 ἀκολούθως ἦλθον κἀνταῦθα χάριν προσκυνήσεως ἐγὼ ὁ ἐν μοναχοῖς ἐλάχιστος βασίλειος μοσκοβοῤῥῶσος Κιεβοπολίτης.
1735: Next I came here, too, to pay my respects; I humblest of all monks, Basil from Kiev City, Muscovy Russian.
St John Lampadistes
Kalopanayiotis has three churches, which alternated for mass. I have not realised that one of them, St John Lampadistes, was not only a former monastery, but a merger of three different chapels in one, the oldest dating from the 12th century, the newest from the 15th.
That this was my father’s parish church, and that he had a choice of three, is something I’ve yet to make sense of.
The former monastery is full of frescoes, from the 13th century; not the most striking I’ve ever seen, but still impressive, and gratifyingly misspelled captions.
The Uniate chapel, the newest bit, has the fresco faces more Italian-looking:
Some saints’ eyes were gouged out by the Ottomans.
The relic of the skull of the Saint is built into the wall, and surrounded by lots of ink “Kilroy was here” graffiti from the 1700s, all very clear but also very hard for me to parse.
The highlight, according to the guidebook (not sure why), is Vasily Grigorovich Barsky’s graffito from 1735—a monk who left graffiti in five separate churches in Cyprus (Mia Gaia Trentin: Medieval and Early Modern graffiti: multicultural and multimodal communication in Cyprus).
(Vasily was clearly keeping a tally.)