Panagia Absinthiotissa Monastery


Located on the flank of the Beşparmak Range, this monastery sits idyllically among juniper trees, taking in the views over the Mesaoria plain.

Built in the late-Byzantine era, with its colossal 12-windowed drum and dome, the monastery was inhabited by Latin monks during the 15th century who added Gothic vaulting and an unusual narthex with double apses at its end. Across the courtyard, to the north, is the refectory with its shallow ceiling, vaulting and distinctive lancet windows.

Fastidiously restored during the 1960s, the monastery was unfortunately badly vandalised after 1974, with its many frescos either stolen or defaced. The plastered interior, now completely covered with graffiti, and the floor, covered with goat droppings, make a bizarre and slightly eerie contrast with the still-beautiful and soaring architecture.

The monastery is approximately 10 minutes’ drive from Buffavento Castle, sitting just above the village of Taşkent (Vouno). To make this your next stop, simply exit the car park and follow the tarmac road heading down the western flank of the mountain. The monastery is signposted from Taşkent's municipality park.