The Limassol monastery that was connected to leprosy in Cyprus

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On the commencement of the British colonization, Cyprus obtained its first official policy for confronting leprosy and treating lepers, who used to live like beggars until that time, marginalized by the local society. Back then, the chief medical officer, Dr Heidenstam, presented a report with the first assertions on the extent of the disease on the island.

In this report, dated 1889, Dr Heidenstam express the belief that the disease arrived on the island through pilgrim coming to one of the most ancient monasteries, which used to be in its prime around the 16th century, the monastery of Trooditissa. The doctor was led to this assertion, since he hadn’t found any reference to leprosy in books prior to the era, while several references were found in books following this era.

In fact, the doctor expressed the opinion that no records of the disease was traced in Cyprus before the 16th century. In his report, he also mentions that several of the monks, some of their relations, friends, and servants, appear to have been the first known Cyprus lepers and the disease was spread from village to village of the Limassol mountains, due to their frequent connection.

Find out more about the monastery of Trooditissa here.

Historical photo: Tales of Cyprus

* NOTE: The tributes of the Project "History of Limassol" present information that has emerged from historical research thus far. Any new data is embedded into the tributes, once it has been confirmed.


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