Agios Neofytos Monastery – Tala, Paphos
Agios Neofytos Monastery can be found just 10 km outside of Paphos in the village of Tala. The monastery was founded by Agios ‘Saint’ Neofytos in 1159. Neofytos lived at the monastery and died there in 1219 at the age of 85 years old.
In addition, the main church of the monastery was built approximately 200 years after his death and the church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Theodoros Apsevdis, a very famous painter, painted the frescoes in the Enkleistra. Inside the monastery, you can also see the magnificent Byzantine icons in the main church and visit the museum which has artefacts from both the ancient period and Byzantine period.
Another place of interest would be the cave which is home to the cell of Saint Neofytos (Enkleistra – the place of seclusion). The Enkleistra is an enclosure carved out of the mountain by the hermit which contains some of the most spectacular Byzantine frescoes dating back from the 12th to the 15th century. Moreover, the rock-table and stone platform where he slept are still preserved in his cell, as is his grave as well.
Most of the current buildings are modern due to being built after the destructive earthquake of 1953. Furthermore, the church was built in the early 16th century in the style of the Franco-Byzantine basilica with a dome.
The monastery is open daily and in summer the opening hours being 9:00am-1:00pm and 2:00pm-6:00pm. In winter, the monastery is open 9:00am-4:00pm.
Agios Neofytos is the most important of the many monasteries in Paphos and is not to be missed.