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Monastery of Timios Stavros-Mintha

Paphos - Religious Tourism

Monastery of Timios Stavros is an intresting place to visit at Paphos countrysite

he monastery of Timios Stavros –Mintha is located 3 km southeastern of Tsada.

According to the oldest reference that we have, the monastery was built in 1520. It is also said that someone had a holy vision that led him to the discovery of a big Cross which was placed in a bush with a candle next to it. So, the tradition says that the monastery was established because of this Cross, which was later placed on the iconostasis Some evidence found in the church lead us to the conclusion that it was demolished and then rebuilt in 1745 by the eparch of Paphos Joachim. The Cross was restored and placed in the museum of the Holy Bishopric of Paphos.

When the island was conquered by Franks, the Greek-Cypriot monks who lived in the monastery of Timios Stavros were sent away and Frank monks took their place. The Greek-Cypriot monks decided to remove a Big Cross which was kept on the iconostasis and hide it among some mint trees which were planted in the area. They probably wanted to come back again and take it as soon as they found a new monastery to live in but the Frank monks found the Cross accidentally in the mint trees and took it back in the monastery.

They placed it on the iconostasis, on the same place that it was before its removal from the Greek-Cypriot monks. The name of the monastery “Minthas” is a paraphrase of the word “mint” and it was given to the monastery because the Cross was found by the Frank in the mint trees. Some day during the 20th century a monk who lived in the monastery realized that a big fire was spreading around the premises of the monastery and he tried in vain to put it away. When he realized that he could not do anything more in order to save the monastery, he threw the Cross in the fire. The vertical side of the Cross was on fire but after a while it was suddenly put away. This Cross remains untouched (burnt on the vertical side) to this day and it is kept in the museum of the monastery.

Unfortunately, the monastery was gradually deserted because of the poverty of the entire population of the area and because of the apathy and the negligence of the bishop. The Holy Bishopric of Paphos in cooperation with the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, has restored the church and the remaining cells of the monks.

The monastery is located in a quiet and tranquil environment among several golf terrains which are built in the area. In the yard of the church, there are many lemon trees, cypress trees, pomegranates and an old well which is no longer in use.

The church of the monastery is single aisled with arches, it is very small, with no decoration but the architecture is wonderful. It has three doors, a small dome and a small bell tower.

The iconostasis has carved wooden decoration and it is gilded since 1836. The icons placed on the iconostasis are dated back in 1770. Above the iconostasis, there is one narrower zone with two rows. On the first row there are thirteen icons and on the second there are eleven.
The church is stone made and its yard is paved with slabs. The old cells of the monks, which are also placed in the yard of the church, were restored under the supervision of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus.

The church celebrates Mass regularly. The community celebrates the feast day of Timios Stavros the third Sunday of the Lent Period and on 14th September.

The awe and tranquility of the area are incredible. Nowadays, there is only one monk who lives in the monastery. His name is Varnavas, and he is always willing to show the monastery to all the visitors.

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