The tomb of Makarios

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The actual tomb of Archbishop Makarios is a much simpler affair, if anything even simpler because the guards standing watch had just knocked off for the day. Makarios wanted his tomb here so he could look back at the village he was born in, up in the mountains.

The origin of Mecha-Makarios

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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 up until you see what such colossal statues look like to outsiders.
To a friend of mine from Serbia, who had passed through the University of Cyprus, it was a bad reminder of Tito, and with its location in the middle of the city, it looked to him ready to stomp on the cars passing by outside. And having seen photos of the statue in its old location, I can see why.
Hence the cartoon of Mecha-Makarios I drew on Quora, which is Ed Conway’s formative memory of me:
Eutychius Kaimakammis: We can afford to be a little arrogant, not every country has a giant robotic religious leader at its disposal :^)

Me: I actually laughed out loud!

… You know, this gets a cartoon.

For what is is worth, the Archbishop of Cyprus seems to have come to a similar conclusion when he moved it. The statue is still huge here, but it is not absurd.

Kykkos monastery

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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 are relaxed, and not a few of them were chatting with cops in the canteen. And the reliquary… well, yeah, there were just too many relics of saints to keep track of.
May be an image of Stari Most

The family home, Kalopanayiotis

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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 which ends up looking like an AI drawing, from St John Lampadistes.)
The storehouse of the family home included a goods elevator. I’m not sure if they included the sausages my father used to steal from the pantry. But they did include a puppy that he used to hide from his father. Briefly.

The Kalopanayiotis funicular

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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 Lycabettus funicular while I was in Athens, of course I sang The Funicular Song here. “Funiculi Funicula, Funiculi Funicula!”

My grandfather at war

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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 saints, if they got him out of there alive. My paternal grandfather, 20 years older, saw action, I’ve been told, in 1919, in Baku. The only way I can make sense of that via the Internet is either the Battle of Baku in August 1918, a confused British attempt to bolster Armenia in its incipient conflict with Azerbaijan, or the subsequent British occupation of Baku, arriving in November 1918 and remaining through 1919. Wikipedia records involvement in the Battle of Baku from Empire colonials (“Dunsterforce“, under Lionel Dunsterville), but I am finding zero evidence of Cypriot involvement in what seems to have been a hand-picked contingent. So I assume my grandfather was one of the 5000 occupying British Empire troops in 1919, instead.
That was not the last of my grandfather’s military adventures.
My grandfather was a manly man, of the type that used to flourish here in times of old. When his wife would ask him to quieten down, he would shout, “I’m a man, and I’m not afraid of anyone.”
The Cyprus insurgency, which found my grandfather in 1956 at the age of sixty, was no time not to be afraid of anyone. Not when the insurgents killed more Greeks, accused of treason, than they did British.
My grandfather was instructed by one insurgent cell to keep watch for Turkish Cypriots in place A. Another cell instructed him to go to place B instead.
My grandfather, being a man and not afraid of anyone, was not about to be bossed around by some snot-nosed teenagers giving him contradictory instructions, so he headed off to water his cherry trees instead.
The small detail that those snot-nosed teenagers had guns, and were quite happy to turn them on him, seems not to have registered.
The following evening, as he headed out to water his cherry trees again, a megaphone announcement went out. “Nicholas Hadjimarcou and (some other villager) are exhibiting treasonous conduct, and if they do not change behaviour quickly, they shall be executed and made an example of.”
Hadjimarcou went the following day to the local insurgent leader to demand a resolution, nowhere near as sheepishly as would be prudent. Nevertheless, it worked. The broadcast the following night was, “Nicholas Hadjimarcou has now seen the error of his ways” (εσυνετίσθη)

The springs and donkeys of Kalopanayiotis

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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 take back up the hill.
While downhill, the household donkey would itself partake of the village sulphur waters. This had immediate consequences for the donkey’s digestive system, which the womenfolk had to make sure they dodged as they headed back uphill.

St Marina, Kalopanayiotis

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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

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The graveyard of Kalopanayiotis; we held a blessing for the family deceased. The grave is my grandfather’s, Nicholas Hadjimarcou (1896-1983).

St John Lampadistes

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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.
File:Kalopanagiotis Kloster Agios Ioannis Lampadistis Kirche Innen Fresken 4.jpg
The Uniate chapel, the newest bit, has the fresco faces more Italian-looking:
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).

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.

(Vasily was clearly keeping a tally.)
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