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The monastery is located on the top of a cliff, which is 700 meters high. It was founded in 327 by Saint Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine. According to legend, she, returning after a pilgrimage from Palestine to Constantinople, got into a storm, and she had to take refuge in the mouth of a river that flowed near Mount Stavrovuni. From her journey, Saint Helena carried a particle of the life-giving cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.
In a dream, Helen had a dream that a young man ordered her to build many churches on the land of Cyprus, and waking up, the empress saw that the cross that she was carrying with her magically ascended to the top of the mountain, thereby determining the place of the future monastery. Here Elena founded a Christian monastery, laying the first stone with his own hands.
The monastery has a rich history. During the reign of the Lusignans, Benedictine monks lived here. In 1426 the monastery was destroyed and plundered by the Egyptian army. And since 1571, it was completely abandoned, but it still continued to be inhabited by some hermits. In 1888, a fire broke out in the monastery, after which its restoration began. After the fire, only a silver cross was preserved, into which a piece of the life-giving cross was inserted.
The monastery has a quadrangular shape, one of the sides facing the sea. The inner courtyard of the monastery is rather small and seems cramped for a dome-type church and a three-tiered bell tower, which was built in the 19th century.
The most revered and valuable relic of Stavrovuni is the holy cross in a silver setting, which is installed in the southern part of the first tier of the iconostasis in a special niche. Also, during the restoration of the monastery, the frescoes that adorn the monastery church were restored. The paintings depict scenes that reflect the history of the discovery of the life-giving cross by St. Helena.
Women are not allowed to enter the territory of the monastery.
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Topic: Stavrovouni Monastery in Cyprus, Troodos Resort.