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location iconAyios Neophytos, Paphos, Cyprus telephone icon+357 2665 2481 website iconWebsite

The Ayios Neophytos Monastery is carved in rock at an altitude of about 450 m, between the villages of Tala and Tsada in a natural valley, about six kilometers from the sea. It was founded by Neophytos the Recluse (1134–1214), an Orthodox monk who documented in writing events of the early Crusades.

What Makes the Monastery of Ayios Neophytos Unique

The Ayios Neophytos Monastery, also spelled Agios Neophytos, is a monastic complex dedicated to Saint Neophytos the Recluse. It is the most important monument of its kind in Paphos, with value derived from its cultural riches, but also for the unique architectural features that blend natural and man-made spaces.

In 1159, Neophytos settled his hermitage in a small natural cave, which he turned into a little chapel with a modest cell to provide accommodation and shelter. In 1170, Basil Kinnamo, the Bishop of Paphos, convinced him to take in a disciple, and in the years that followed, a small monastic community developed around the cave.

To accommodate the monks living at the Ayios Neophytos Monastery, more rooms were hewed in rock, developing into an Engleistra (or Enkleistra) with a Narthex and a Refectory adjacent to the main cave. Later, the space was enlarged with a Skevophylakion (Treasury), Ayiastyrion, New Zion, and Naos. In time, the Engleistra was decorated with priceless artworks, some of which slowly degrading because of extensive visitor traffic and other factors.

Outside the Engleistra, the Katholikon is a Venetian-inspired basilica from the 16th century. This is where the religious service takes place at the Ayios Neophytos Monastery.

The Engleistra of the Ayios Neophytos Monastery is a testament to what the monastic life was like in the twelfth century, the troubled era of the Crusades. Elements within the monastery, including frescos and written records, add to the historical and cultural value of the monastery. A museum that stores manuscripts and old religious books, monastic garments, Cypriot maps, pottery, icons, and other symbolic items, can be visited every day, no matter when you arrive on the island. Arrive after 9:00 am and before 4:00 pm in winter, or before 6:00 pm in summer.

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Open daily

Summer icon

Summer hours

(April - October)
09:00 - 13:00 / 14:00 - 18:00

Winter icon

Winter hours

(November - March) 09:00 - 16:00


Entrance €2,00
Museum and Enkleistra

More Monasteries

Chrysorogiatissa Monastery
Located next to the village of Panayia, Panagia Chrysorogiatissa Monastery is one of the religious heritage sites of Paphos. It was founded in 1152 AD, during the rule of Manuel I Komnenos of Byzantium, by a monk called Ignatius who entered in possession of an icon of the Virgin Mary allegedly painted by St. Luke the Evangelist.
 
Panayia Chrysopolitissa
On an island where the majority of the population is Greek Orthodox, the church of Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa is a dream come true for many Catholic couples who want to tie the knot in paradise. It’s a beautiful church, which traces its roots back to the largest basilica of Cyprus in the 4th century AD.
 
 
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