Being the only inland city except for Nicosia, the capital; the Larnaca district is often overlooked as a destination for tourists visiting the island. There are however a large number of spectacular Orthodox churches on the island, which have great religious importance attached to them, perfect if you are especially religious or visiting the island for a pilgrimage.
Another milestone is connected with the Turkish occupation of the North of the island, as reflected in there being both mosques and Orthodox churches in Cyprus. Today Cyprus remains a welcoming multi-cultural destination for many religions including temples as well.
Due to its geographical location and rich history, which for the most part adhere to Greek Orthodox in Cyprus reminiscent of various branches of Catholicism.
The Monastery of Stavrovouni is located in Pyrga in the wider Larnaca District and is well worth a day excursion visit. The grounds are spread over 327 hectares on the orders of Empress Helena. The Monastery has become a place for pilgrimages and religious trips for Christians, as according to legend it is here that a particle of the cross on which Christ was crucified on is housed. Additionally, the beautiful iconostasis "The Life-Giving Cross" was erected inside the church which St Elena famously brought to Cyprus from Jerusalem.
The Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque
Not far from Larnaca airport, the Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque has attracted crowds of Muslim pilgrims for years, who attract visitors from all over the world to the infamously ex-Christian church.
The Hala Sultan Tekke mosque was converted from a Church in order to honour a woman from a very wealthy Arab family. Nowadays, near the pond, several hotels have been built for tourists coming to Cyprus to bow to the grave of the famous Muslim woman. The service personnel live in office premises built relatively recently.
If the unique structural design of the converted mosque is not enough, then you should also visit the ruins of an ancient settlement, which you can see next to the grounds of the Mosque.
There are so many more Churches and Monasteries on the south side of the island.
- For more information on Kykkos Monastery, click here.
- For more information on Agios Neofytos Monastery in Paphos, click here.