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Stavrovouni Monastery, Larnaka District

(110+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site Tourist Spot
Stavrovouni Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery which stands on the top of a hill called Stavrovouni in Cyprus; it is sometimes simply known as Stavrovouni. The monastery is one of the few places where one can see a piece of the Holy Cross. Stavrovouni Monastery was founded by Saint Helena in around 327-329 AD and therefore it is one of the oldest monasteries in the world.LocationThe monastery is located on the peak of the mountain of the same name in the District of Larnaca. The mountain in earlier times had been known under the name of Olympus, but nowadays the highest point of the Troodos Mountains further to the west bears that name. Stavrovouni, as the name already indicates, is dedicated to the Holy Cross; it can be derived from two words 'stavros' for cross and 'vouno' for mountain, so that it basically means "the mountain of the Cross".EstablishmentAccording to religious tradition, the monastery was founded by St. Helena, the mother of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine I, the Great. According to the 15th century Cypriot chronicler Leontios Makhairas, after the end of the First Ecumenical Synod in Nicaea (325), Helena went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land when she discovered the three crosses on which Jesus and the two thieves had been crucified. She had them excavated and wanted to bring them to Constantinople, but she is said to have left one of these crosses in Cyprus during an involuntary visit caused by shipwreck. Religious history says that the Holy Cross was transferred by a miracle to the peak of a high hill overnight and that a strong light was coming out of that peak. After several unsuccessful attempts to get the Holy Cross out of that mountain, Helena decided to leave a piece there, and built a small chapel to accompany it.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The scenery is amazing , the monastery is fine , with nice frescos on church , but no guidence/info , also note that the access is only to men  more »
  • The drive up to the monastery has beautiful views and there are pull off points to stop. Unfortunately, women are not allowed inside the monastery so I cannot comment on that. The view from outside th...  more »
  • The monastery is located on the top of a mountain 750 m above sea level. The monastery was founded by Helena, the mother of emperor Constantine I. The story says that during a pilgrimage to the holly ...  more »
Google
  • Nice view and a very tranquil place. Also there's a nice spot with a helicopter landing sign on the way with a view on this monastery. Please bear in mind that women, girls and men in sport uniform are not allowed inside.
  • Even though entry is only allowed to men (without camera and with long pants), its still worth the trip up the hill to enjoy the stunning views and peace and quiet!
  • Were closed in working hours. Not saying women can enter it at all.
  • Great view on all Larnaca area. Men in cycling (road) uniform are prohibited to enter.
  • Nice setting, but men only can enter????? And they claim to have a relic brought by St Helen???