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“Big Mak”, the colossal statue of Archbishop Makarios that used to glare over the city outside the Archbishop’s Mansion. Since 2008, moved here, at the entrance of the path into his tomb, atop Mt Troodos. It made a lot of sense for a grateful nation to erect a colossal statue to its founding father. Right […]
The thousand year old monastery of Kykkou on top of Mt Troodos; founder: emperor Alexius Comnenus. It is not the Vatican of the Church of Cyprus, but it certainly feels like it. The monastery frescoes are brand new, 1980s. The iconostasis is of course far older, and I couldn’t pin its styles down. The monks […]
The family home in Kalopanayiotis. Three storeys, originally with chicken coop at the bottom, almond and plum trees up the back, and storehouse to the side. It ended up bought out by my aunt Helen, who had divided it along her children; hence it is now called Maison Elena, with rooms to let. (Extreme closeup […]
Kalopanayiotis is steep enough that, traditionally, it could only be negotiated by donkey. (Hopefully not partaking of the sulphur waters and suffering from diarrhoea.) Now, there is a funicular to service the locals’ needs, and even though it costs a euro return, the locals use it plenty. And since I never got around to using […]
The Venetian bridge across the river Setrachos at Kalopanayiotis. Which reminded my uncle of a story I had also heard from my father, and forgotten. My maternal grandfather saw action on the Albanian front in WWII; he kept a diary during his time, which turned out to be full of pledges to celebrate masses for […]
The sulphur springs, next to the river Setrachos; one spring is still labeled “for stomach pains, 1937”. The river was where the woman folk would take the laundry for washing, carrying baskets down the hill, stamping on them in soup water than beating them with a stick, then loading them on the household donkey to […]
The church of St Marina, the reception of the spa hotel encroaching on the village, and a map of the multiple churches nearby.
The graveyard of Kalopanayiotis; we held a blessing for the family deceased. The grave is my grandfather’s, Nicholas Hadjimarcou (1896-1983).
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 […]
The village of Kalopanayiotis is my father’s village. You might render it with some fancy as “Mario the Fair”. It perches precariously on the green mount Troodos. It was as hardscrabble a village as any in the area, but its sulphur springs guaranteed a stream of visitors from the towns. Which is the most plausible […]