Ayia Napa Chapel (Kantou)

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There are very few churches in Cyprus dedicated to Ayia Napa, which is the Saint of the forest. Besides the impressive temple in the city’s historical center, there is another church in the Limassol countryside that is significantly smaller, but just as beautiful, with a very interesting history that follows the course of the settlements that once flourished on the Kouris river bank.

The area is thought to have been inhabited since the Neolithic period. This particular church, which is located about 2 kilometers northeast of Kantou village, on the western bank of the Kouris river, was likely the temple of the small monastic community. Around the chapel one still can see the foundations of an older settlement, which was likely built around the temple.

The church is constructed in the typical cruciform shape, and its construction dates back to the 12th century. Its interior was once completely covered with frescoes, of which 2 small layers still remain today, dating back to the 12th or 13th, and 14th centuries.

swipe gallery

The chapel has 2 entrances, on the southern and western wall. The dome features 4 arched windows which let in light in, similar to another one on the eastern side of the temple above the altar area. The remaining murals represent the Assumption, Saint George, Saint Paraskevi and other images. 

The name of the small chapel, which translates to 'Saint of the Forest,' suggests that wooded vegetation once thrived in the area.

Photos: Constantinos Constanti, George Economides, Marios Apostolides, Panayiotis Mavrommatis, Stavros Stavrou, Spyros Spyrou, Agni Tsouloupa