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Paphos -  Chrysorroyiatissa Monastery
The monastery’s name means ‘Our Lady of the Golden Pomegranate’ and local legend tells how it was founded in the 12th century by a hermit called Ignatius who was led in a vision from Moulia on the Paphos coast to a cave in the locality where he found a beautiful glowing golden icon of Our Lady. The icon is believed to have been one of several painted by the Apostle Luke. The monastery stands at an elevation of 600 metres on the slopes of Mount Royia and commands a stunning view over the area including  terraced vineyards and the edge of the Paphos Forest. It is very much a working monastery run by its dynamic abbot, Dionysios , who is particularly interested in icon restoration.  The medieval monastery church dedicated to Our Lady is beautiful. It has a steeply pitched roof and wooden beams and stands on the site of an older building. The church's  wooden iconostasis (altar screen) has been intricately carved.  It houses an important icon of Our Lady which is covered in hold and silver and is credited with protecting the monastery from fires through the centuries and also of rain bringing when it has been walked in procession at times of drought.  One of the monks is an icon painter and restorer and can often be seen at work in his workshop. There is an interesting ecclesiastical museum that contains a fascinating array of Byzantine ecclesiastical silverware, manuscripts and frescoes.  

The Mount Royia winery is situated on the lower ground floor of the monastery and produces award-winning wines! The monks tend the monastery's extensive vineyards and produce excellent wine using traditional production methods and it is possible to buy bottles in the monastery shop. By the entrance to the monastery there is a popular cafe where drinks and snacks can be enjoyed in the cool leafy shade and the monastery's waters are said to have healing properties making it a popular destination for pilgrims.

* The monastery is open daily but closed at lunchtime. There are festivals (Panayiri) celebrating Our Lady held on 1-2 February and 15 August which attract scores of visitors from all over Cyprus and beyond.

* Visitors to the monastery are respectfully reminded that they must be modestly dressed and knees and shoulders must be covered.
Nestling amongst trees on the slopes of Mt Royia some 40 km from Paphos, stands the beautiful monastery of Chrysorroyiatissa. It overlooks the village of Panayia,, the birthplace of  the island's first president,.

Archbishop  Markarios,  It is said that as a young boy, Makarios used to gaze up to the monastery and was inspired to join monastic life, later studying at Kykkos monastery. The village itself is well worth exploring as it has interesting architectural styles, plenty of vines and good examples of the huge red clay wine storage jars - pitharia - decorate many courtyards. The villagers have long been almost self-sufficient because in the past the journey by donkey to Paphos would take several days. Elderly people remember the excitement of the annual panayiri (church festival) when travelling salesman from the town visited the village with such products as citrus fruits and potatoes! The house where  Makarios grew up is open to the public and in the centre of the village there is a small museum tracing his life.