arts and crafts heading


Divine Inspiration

From the worship of the Olympians Gods to the veneration of Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary and the Saints. The transition from paganism to Orthodox Christianism has left its traces in every corner of the island. The coexistence of pagans and Christians on the island is evident in the Art, and particularly in floor mosaics. The same mosaic patterns used in the elite pagan homes found their way in the early-Christian basilicas. Complex geometric patterns, personifications of the four seasons, lush Dionysian flora and peacocks are only a few patterns showing the fluid boundaries between the two religions. Take a closer look at the House of Aion in Pafos and then to the House of Eustolios in Kourion to observe the gradual triumph of Christianity over paganism. Following the prevalence of Christianity, churches were erected throughout the island and many were decorated with wall mosaics. The church of Panagia Aggeloktisti in Kiti village is a great example. Kykkos monastery and its truly marvelous mosaic pieces are characterized by modern painstaking execution and detailed planning following loyally the rich Byzantine inheritance.

ancient monastery
divine insipration - church woman

The mosaic art is actively preserved in Cyprus; old techniques are maintained and new ones are developed. Look for the mosaicists in the villages of the Heartland of Legends, watch them creating modern and traditional works of art and learn this fascinating craft by making your own masterpiece.

Iconography or icon painting is a sacred art that flourishes on the island. Cyprus is the homeland of many prestigious iconographers who continued the long Byzantine tradition such as Titos, Iosif Chouris, Father Kallinikos and so many others.

Icons are an integral part of the Orthodox churches and can be seen on the iconostasis (a wooden divider adorned with icons separating the Sanctuary from the nave of the church). In the center of the iconostasis are the Royal Doors. On the right of these Doors always stands the icon of Jesus Christ and on the left the icon of Panagia (Virgin Mary). On the top of these icons is Dodekaorton, a series of twelve icons representing the Twelve Great Feast Days. Enter in any church you find along your journey in the Heartland of Legends and admire the beautifully carved iconostasis with the meticulous icons and get familiar with the various techniques and styles.

Enrich your experiences by visiting an iconographer’s workshop. Learn step by step the whole procedure; selection of wood (cypress, marine plywood or natural cedar wood), preparation of wood with linen gauze, chalk and chardin glue, drawing the theme by using natural egg-tempera colors and the gold gilding. Icons are not just an object. They are designed to reinforce the theological message. You will find out that the iconographer follows certain rules of composition and each color has a symbolic meaning. Gold symbolizes the munificence of Heaven, Red is the color of blood and thereby signifies life on earth and Blue indicates the infiniteness of the sky and is considered the color of Panagia (Virgin Mary)

Delve into the world of mosaics and icon painting by visiting the workshops of the artists that you can find in the villages of the Heartland of Legends and arrange your lessons to experience these unique forms of art.


Loukia Lazarou

tel. +357 99417244

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