The Church of the Holy Cross of Agiasmati is located in the eastern part of the Troodos Mountains, in the geographical district of Pitsilia, about five kilometers northeast of Platanistassa village.
Since 1985 it has been included, along with nine other frescoed Byzantine churches in Troodos, on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is still the most complete and representative sample of frescoes in the second half of the 15th century in Cyprus. The key to the church can be obtained from the Pope of the village.
It is the Catholic monastery of the same name, built in the late 15th century. The Russian monk Vasily Barsky, who visited the island in 1735, reports that the monastery had since been abandoned and there was only one monk, who was both an abbot, and a lay servant.
According to some researchers the name "Agiasmati" comes from the word Agiasmata. Another version connects the name with the Agiasmati region of western Asia Minor, a location mentioned in connection with the fall of Constantinople in 1453. One possibility is that refugees from this area fled to Cyprus and set up a monastery in the mountains of the island shortly afterwards, giving it the same name as their homeland. Of the remaining monastic buildings, only a few cell ruins in the south of the temple are preserved today.
It is a single roofed wooden temple, covered with flat, hooked tiles.
The frescoes grow in two zones. On the upper are the multiform scenes of the New Testament and on the lower are the individual figures. The narrative cycle of Finding and Raising the Holy Cross, in which the temple is dedicated, develops into thumbnails in the northern blind arch. In the arch of the Sacred Step, the Virgin Mary is depicted in the type of Vlachernitissa. Frescoes are also preserved on the outside of the west and south walls. It is worth mentioning the extensive and multifaceted scene of the Future Crisis, which develops until the end of the pediment where the Judge Christ is depicted.
Tel: +357 22 652 562, +357 99 514 179 or the Community Board: +357 22 652 090
Accreditation: Unesco World Heritage
Address: Platanistasa, Troodos
Operating Hours: To arrange a visit please contact Me Aristofanis (at the coffee shop)
Operating Period: All year round