Monastery of Agia Napa
- Plateia Seferi Town Centre
- admission free
Lonely Planet review for Monastery of Agia Napa
The beautifully cloistered Monastery of Agia Napa is incongruously sited next to the pub-and-club centre of the adjoining Square. Best visited in the early morning, after the revellers have gone to bed, the monastery is an oasis of calm amid the crass commercialism of Agia Napa's entertainment scene.
Built in around 1570 by the Venetians, the monastery is named after the 'holy handkerchief' that was used by St Veronica to wipe the face of Jesus as he carried his cross to Calvary. It is a remarkably well-preserved monastery, and was indeed used as such up until 1790. Visitors enter from either the north or south side. Outside the south gate is a prominently labelled enormous sycamore tree, which is said to be more than 600 years old. A cool, marble fountain is the centrepiece of the courtyard and dates from 1530. It is covered by a large dome, mounted on four pillars.
The church itself, on the west side of the courtyard, is sunken somewhat lower than the courtyard level and is rather dark and gloomy inside. The monastery is ringed by a stout, protective wall, designed initially to keep marauding pirates at bay, but now ostensibly serving a better purpose in keeping inebriated foreign visitors at a respectable distance from its hallowed ground.