Ammochostos Area (Famagusta)
The golden sandy beaches (see pictures of Ayia Napa Beaches) of the free (non-occupicd) Ammochostos district gently embrace the eastern corner of the island. The popular holiday resorts of Ayia Napa (see pictures of Ayia Napa Beaches) and Paralimni have been called a veritable paradise for anyone who loves the sea and water sports. The charming scenery includes the tiny fishing harbour of Ayia Napa, the mediaeval monastery at the heart of the village and the windmills and small churches in the surrounding villages which spread out to the areas of Paralimni and Protaras. This region is the main potato producing area on the island, and is known as “Kokkinochoria’ which means ‘red soil villages’. The villages of this area are equally known for their folk poets, who are regarded as the best on the island.
Places of Interest
AYIA NAPA (Agia Napa)
Originally a fishing village it is now a major tourist resort. The charming mediaeval monastery dedicated to ‘Our Lady of the Forests’ stands in the middle of the village surrounded by a high wall. Its 16th century church is partly underground and cut into the rock. The hostel west of the church, belongs to the World Council of Churches. “the ancient sycamore tree in front of the south gate is believed to be over 600 years old. The Marine Life Museum can be found within the premises of the Ayia Napa (see map) Municipality.
PARALIMNI – PROTARAS
Since the Turkish military occupation of Ammochostos in 1974, this small town has become the temporary administrative centre of the district. The twin aisled vaulted church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Panagia), is decorated with unusual 18th century porcelain plates. The church, parts of which belong to the 13th century, houses a small ecclesiastical Museum. Other interesting churches are also to be found in the area.
The village has three interesting churches; the small domed 17th century church of Agios Georgios, the 15th century Agia Marina church, and a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary with excellent 17th century icons. From this village one may gaze on the ‘ghost city’ of Ammochostos, now under occupation by the Turkish forces. Once the most popular holiday resort in Cyprus, Ammochostos lies desolate since 1974 as all its inhabitants are now refugees.
Here is a 16th century church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the 15th century church of Agios Andronikos, with an octagonal dome and murals which can still be distinguished in the apse. Liopetri still carries on the traditional craft of basket-making.
The village of Frenaros has its own small Byzantine churches. Two of them, the Agios Andronikos and the Archangelos Michail date back to the 12th century. The church of Agia Marina has some interesting frescoes painted by different artists.
A picturesque fishing refuge. Nearby are the remains of a Venetian watch-tower. The French poet Arthur Rimbaud worked in this area in the 1880′s.
There are five Byzantine Churches of considerable importance as regards their architectural style and the beauty of the masonry. The church of Agios Mamas lies at the eastern entrance to the village. It datesback to the early 16th century, as do most of its surviving wall paintings. About one kilometre to the west is the cruciform church of Panagia Chordakiotissa, the church of Agios Ceorgios Chortakion and the church of Agios Theodores (only the narthex survives). In the centre of the village lies the church of the Metamorphosis tou Sotiros (13th -16th centuries), which displays excellent examples ofpost-Komninian art (early 13th century). In the centre of the village is a small ecclesiastical museum. Tel: (23) 92 39 32.