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Ayios Neophytos Monastery
Instead. After days of searching for the perfect site he found an isolated canyon, with its commanding views of the coastline. He set to work to hollow out by hand, a cell in the cliff face of the hill known as Mellissovouno – ‘The Honey Mountain’.

The hermitage was given the name ‘Encleistra’. The chapel walls were filled with frescoes painted between 1183 and 1196 under the close supervision of the hermit.
The main chamber, just to the right of the chapel was the living area, measuring only eleven feet by eight feet, it had benches, a desk and bookshelves all carved out of the bare rock. On one wall Saint Neophytos carved his own tomb, with a fresco of the Resurrection on the wall above. The tomb was opened in 1750, so that the Saint's bones could be used as relics. They are now housed in a silver reliquary in the monastery chapel. Local legend tells of the special healing powers of the tomb. It is said that if a sick person climbs into the tomb and turns himself around three times calling out the Saint's name he will be cured of his illness.

In 1170, when the hermit was thirty-six years old, the Bishop of Paphos ordained him and persuaded him to have his first student. Over the years his fame as a scholar and teacher spread and before long he had fifteen students and the monastic community was founded. Beyond all else though, Neophytos wanted peace, tranquillity and solitude, and found his growing fame irksome. Finding life almost impossible he decided {at the age of 65!} to abandon his caves and scramble further up the cliff face, where he dug a new chamber out of the rock suspended from a rope! He lived up in his ‘Higher Encleistra’ until he died in 1214 - only climbing down on a Sunday using a retractable rope ladder!

He was much respected as a counsellor by the people of Paphos, and to this day he is held in high esteem for the numerous manuscripts he wrote, which total over 4,000 pages and are preserved in many different cities including Paris and Vienna.

Today, Ayios Neophytos monastery is home to a handful of monks and has a fascinating museum where old manuscripts and religious icons can be seen and there is a workshop for manuscript preservation and book-binding and there are several beautiful walks in the vicinity.

To explore more Cyprus Days Out, why not have a look at our link to cheap Cyprus car hire – below.
Ayios Neophytos Monastery

Looking for things to do in Paphos – Anohters great Cyprus Day out is Ayios Neophytos monastery.

Nestling in a wooded canyon about ten kilometres north of Paphos is the of Ayios Neophytos monastery – Neophytos is one of the Cypriot’s best-loved Saints

Neophytos was born in 1134 in Kato Drys {a tiny village near Pano Lefkara}. He was a keen and bright student with a passion for reading. One day, In his late teens, he learned with horror that his parents were planning an arranged marriage for him, and to escape the ordeal he ran away to Khrysostomos monastery at Koubouventi. When discovered by his parents, Neophytos was forced to return home, but begged with them to let him "embrace a monastic life rather than a bride". His parents reluctantly agreed and he returned to the monastery, where he received his first formal education and quickly developed a passion for writing.

After seven years at the monastery, Neophytos left for the Holy Land to search for a suitable place to live as a hermit, but without success, so he returned to Khrysotomos., but after some months he decided to head westwards to Paphos and then on to the ancient island of Milito, near Asia Minor. Unfortunately, he was robbed of the eight gold coins that he had saved for the journey, so penniless he decided to settle in Paphos -
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