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Panagia Sinti

The Monastery of Panagia of Sinti predominates imposingly on the eastern bank of the river Xeros.

Historical Background of the Monastery

The Monastery’s exact construction date still remains unknown. However, the Monastery existed during the Venetian period. This is attested on a document of that period, which is, according to the Great Cyprus Encyclopaedia, mentioned by N.Kyriazis. In particular, ‘on this document, which is a report about Cyprus, Sindi is mentioned among the villages of Cyprus. It is a fact however that it is not mentioned as a Monastery’. This doesn’t mean that the Monastery did not exist, because, as Kyriazis mentions, ‘other monasteries, such as the one of Panagia of Zalakion and the Place of Seclusion (Engleistra) of Agios Neophytos, are mentioned on this report among the villages and not as monasteries’. Additionally, ‘this report was composed in about the same period that the monastery’s church was reconstructed’.    

After the 16th century, the Monastery was a glebe of the Kykkos Monastery. This fact is also mentioned by the Russian monk Vassili Barsky, who visited the Monastery in 1735. Actually, during that period, ‘the Monastery had three monks which were sent there by the abbot of Kykkos and they dealt with farming and stock-breeding. The monastery of Sinti also had two water mills’.  

In the beginning of the 20th century, approximately in 1927, the monastery seized to be a glebe of Kykkos. After 1927, according to the Great Cyprus Encyclopaedia, ‘the monastery was abandoned and in the beginning of the 1950s, its real estate property was sold to the residents of the neighbouring villages’.

The Monastery’s renovation works began in 1994, during the abbotship of Nikiforos and were completed in 1997. In the same year, it was honoured with the Europa Nostra award.

The Monastery’s Architecture

The monastery complex is built with a Π shape and walls in an internal yard. In the centre of the yard there is a well. During Barsky’s visit to the Monastery in 1735, ‘there used to be a spring in the middle of the yard’. From this, we conclude that there used to be a water channel which led the water of Xeros River to the monastery’.

The northern and eastern wings of the Monastery appear to have been two floor buildings. The first one is dated back to the 16th century, whereas the latter in the 17th or the 18th century. In the past, there used to be a western wing as well, which appears to have been consisted of ground floor rooms which were used as stables and barns’.

The catholic (church)

Built at the southern side of the yard is the church of the Monastery. It is a single-roomed church with a dome, which has eight sides externally and four arched windows. On the western wall of the church, there is a circular window, whereas a smaller one is on the apse. In the east, the church turns into an apse which internally ‘has the form of an arc, whereas externally, it is a five sided one’. A dominating spot in the internal part of the church is possessed by the wooden iconostasis.   The Monastery’s church, according to its morphological elements – dimensions, form of the dome, side door form of the northern entrance, anarthrous internal – is dated back to the middle of the 16th century.   

Sources:

Great Cyprus Encyclopaedia

Agia Marina Kelokedaron Community Council

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