Through the pages of the book "The Monastery of the Theotokos Kykkotissa." Nicosia: «Yianel», 2006 - 116 with.
The architectural ensemble of the monastery Kykkos
Ranked Among the mighty giant pines that cover the slopes of the Troodos mountains, stretches majestically monastery complex, hereinafter referred to as the world Kykkos, full title - Holy Imperial Monastery of the Theotokos Stavropegic Kykkotissa. Within its walls from the first days of the establishment stored ancient miraculous icon of the Mother of God, created, according to legend, during the earthly life of the Virgin and Her request Apostle Luke. In the XI century Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus gave this unique icon of Cyprus and isolated from its treasury heavily in the construction of the monastery, and therefore styled his Tsar. And when the construction of the ancient temple, in its foundation laid the cornerstone for the Holy Cross, in the language of the Church meant - monastery or stauropegic krestovopolozhenny. Then the holy abode got all stavropegic privileges - complete self-government and independence.
In the archives of the monastery is an ancient legend tells in detail about the history of the creation Kykkotissa holy abode.
Arcade gallery top court
One day, while hunting in the woods Marafasa, the governor of the Byzantine emperor Manuel Cyprus Duke Vutomitis astray. Long he wandered among the dense thickets and unexpectedly stumbled upon a small, hidden from the eyes of a lonely cave hermit Isaiah and questioned him about the road. Old man said nothing, faithful vow to remain silent and avoid contact with worldly people. The enraged governor commanded his guards severely punish undecideds. Humble monk who has taken life in the desert, "a place of battle with the spirits of Heaven," is rendered unjust punishment. Vutomitis same, out of the forest, soon forgets episode. And suddenly serious illness chained to the bed of the Duke of anger. Best healers empire nothing could help him. And then jacked disease governor, remembering his evil deed in the mountains, he commanded a hermit in order to confess to him. Elder forgiving Vutomitisa became day and night to pray for his recovery. Vicar quickly gained strength, the terrible disease receded and the governor promised to comply with any hermit's desire. Please bring Isaiah Cyprus miraculous icon of the Blessed Virgin of the Byzantine emperor palace temple Duke led to confusion. After much doubt he still went to Constantinople to present a hermit at court. An opportunity not to wait long, the only daughter of Emperor ill. The symptoms were the same as that of the governor had been ill recently. The Emperor, learning about who saved the life of the Duke, Isaias invited to the palace, by promising him untold riches for rescuing his daughter. Again, praying guardian of God and the miracle happened again. Happy lord offered anything but humble monk insisted only on the miraculous icon of the Virgin. Angry monarch: really did not want to leave him with the sacred relic. However, subsequent events have forced him to enlist the help of a hermit, and only if he agreed to give an icon Isaiah.
The main temple of the holy abode
Imperial ship slowly sailed to the coast of Cyprus. Residents of the island met with glee the miraculous icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary graciously and with it went in procession to the place where the high mountains was intended to lay the monastery. This event occurred at the beginning of XI century, at the same time and began the construction of the holy abode of funds allocated from the royal treasury. The main shrine of the monastery - the miraculous image of Our Lady of Sorrows Kykkotissa Eleusa (mercifully) - was established in the iconostasis of the main temple on the left of the altar gates. By decree of the Emperor, icon covered velvet veil that no one ever saw the faces of the saints and the Virgin of her Divine Son. In the entire history of only two known cases of violation of this prohibition. In 1669 year Patriarch of Alexandria Gerasimos, tempted, raised cover of the holy icon and immediately blinded. Long and repentant prayer in the image of God the Mother, he received forgiveness and healing. History has preserved for posterity his written will: never break the sacred law. Right from the icon of the Blessed Virgin can see black mold human hand, his thoughts dared to touch the holy likam.
During his long, quantifiable centuries life holy abode four raging fire. And never the icon of the Blessed Virgin was not damaged. In 1365, during the raging fire was the greatest miracle that is described in his book of the famous Greek educator Efrem Athens. After the morning meal, all the monks went to the forest for firewood. In the mountains, they met a local who bred in the forest fire to smoke out the bees from hives. Suddenly a strong wind blew, and seizing the fire, carried him to the side of the monastery. And now, the flames licking the walls of the temple and sneaks inside, where only one paralyzed old man prays at the holy icon. Noticing the tongues of fire, he was horrified when he heard the words addressed to him, "Rise, take the icon and save yourself." Forgetting everything, the old man jumped up, took the icon and pressing it to his chest, he rushed out of the temple in flames. Climbing up the hill, he easily climbed to the highest cedar. Then came to him the realization of what happened a miracle. The monks saw the smoke, ran to the church, but the icon was not there. Suddenly they noticed that the fire is moving to the lonely standing cedar, then abruptly removed. Running up to the tree, they noticed a man at the top with an icon in his hands. Joy was infinite. Temple rebuilt, and life in the holy abode boil again.
The iconostasis of the church. Mid XVIII century.
In the northern part of the complex behind a massive wooden door with injection molding inserts, transmit stories of the New Testament, is the main entrance to the real treasury of the monastery - the Church and the Archaeological Museum, which contains valuable objects of religious art. And although the museum was created relatively recently - in 1995, his collection is considered in Cyprus one of the best, because most of the exhibits, resting in peace today halls and warehouses, and exist simultaneously in the cult, and cultural context. About former ties with the Byzantine Empire, where did the idea of the monastery grounds, the atmosphere resembles a museum, exquisite interior design, color - the dominant purple background, symbolizing spirituality, warm tone walnut, inlaid with gold, dim lights and Byzantine music. For many centuries, the monks are trying to restore this valuable collection, which often adds and pilgrims from Russia, sacrificing holy monastery church utensils, books, lamps, chandeliers and sconces, salaries and crosses decorating today the cathedral church, the sacristy and the museum halls.
Indoor arched portal in the eastern part of the monastery is in a small but cozy lower patio, where stands the main temple of the monastery. Initially, in the XI century, it was made of wood and a single nave with a steep gable gabled roof covered with red tiles lapped flat, which corresponded to an already established by the time the local tradition. Later 1541 year old wooden church was replaced stone. Modern look to the church began to take the middle of the XVIII century, when its main nave domed added two side chapels and decorated with frescoes, as mentioned in his diaries famous Russian traveler monk Basil Grigorovich Barsky-. Architectural appearance of the church today is a domed basilica, where rows of slender columns supporting arches, separated interior space into three chapels. Central nave with a semicircular apse dedicated Virgin graciously, south - All Saints, North - Archangels Michael and Gabriel. Three portals framed by semicircular arches and gilded wall mosaics, lead to the temple.
The central hall of the Church and Archeological Museum
The rich decoration of the temple is impressive all. Floor mosaic, which was used to create complex method Florentine seamless fit stone plates. Majestic carved iconostasis dating 1755 year, with ancient icons XVI - XIX centuries, among which the main treasure of the monastery - the icon of the Virgin Eleusa in gilded lace framed. Department delicate, rare footages murals and shining lights chandeliers. An integral part of the cathedral church remains high pulpit, which translated from Greek means "ascent." He marks those high places from which Jesus preached, and His ascension to the top of the feat for the salvation of mankind. Tracery vintage pulpit reminiscent of an elegant, sparkling golden faces cup decorated images of the four Evangelists and the figure of an eagle with outstretched wings, symbolizing the divine inspiration, spiritual strength and the Resurrection. Complement the interior wooden high chair, called in Greek "stasidi." Sitting seats are two positions: low and high, so parishioners can either sit in the temple, standing or leaning on the arms and at the same time feeling more confident during long church services. Stasidi first appeared in Greek temples and churches of Mount Athos.
Completes the interior of the church a magnificent iconostasis, which, according to the Byzantine tradition, was a three-tiered, retaining local, festive and apostolic ranks. In the altar space (Boehme) in the apse conch discharged impressive mural on it - the image of the Virgin - the Queen of Heaven, seated on a throne with a crown of Christ blessing, with an adult face, long hair, in royal apparel, and surrounded by angelic triads. Art style mural based on large forms, bright colors, with an abundance of red, gold and blue, shallow elaborate ornament, gives it a special enthusiasm and optimism.
Architectural appearance of the temple complements the elegant bell tower. Erected it at the end of the XIX century. The largest bell (weight 1280 kg) was donated to the monastery of tsarist Russia, as inscription reads: "Abode of the Mother of God, called Kykkotissa, on the island of Cyprus diligence and zeal Russian Orthodox residents of Moscow Ekaterina Abramova, cast factory Bogdanov." At the end of XX century, just west of the monastery complex erected a new majestic bell tower topped with a cross, hovering over the tops of pine trees as symbols of secular celebrations of the Orthodox faith.
Monastery of St. Procopius. Compound Kykkos. Administrative center
Sacred subjects large mosaic paintings covering almost all the walls flanking galleries, unique not only for its Byzantine iconographic canons, but also restored beauty smalt mosaic, once widespread in the Byzantine Empire. Technical capabilities forgotten mosaic allowed contemporary artists to have a special light effect, as if re-opening the unique properties of the "vibrating surface." Carved wooden door cell abbot made in XVI, has preserved in its old guise artistic merit fine openwork carving, symbolic imagery and sound mastery of its creator. Hand skilled master captured her numerous fragments of floral ornament, which is based on acanthus tendrils. Organically inscribed in it and palm leaves embody the triumph of Christ, and the spiral composition associated with the motif of the World Tree. Special meaning stuffed animal images: winged dragon, meaning wisdom and ancient origins of the church, and sleeping on the belief that the lion with his eyes open, which today vigilantly guarded chambers abbot of the monastery.
On the territory of the legendary monastery rasplozhena guest houses for pilgrims, where at any time of the year you can find shelter and feel warmth and hospitality of this amazing humble monks of the monastery. Especially here in the crowded Theotokos holidays, with special solemnity when mona-Styr celebrates Christmas Blessed Virgin. Not far from the monastery on top of the mountain rises Throni stone chapel with a mosaic manner Kykkotissa Dame. Nearby is the magnificent monument and the tomb of the first President of Cyprus - Beatitude Archbishop Makarios III. On a marble slab words: "From this mountain I will see my country and my people, which I loved so much."