A wonderful combination of rich cultural heritage, warm hospitality and a beautiful natural environment - that is a perfect way to describe the church of Panagia tou Araka (Our Lady of the Pea) in the village of Lagoudera (in the Pitsilia area) at the foothills of the Troodos.
It is one of the ten Byzantine churches of the Troodos mountain range that have been granted World Culture Heritage status by UNESCO. Panagia tou Araka Church is considered to be one of the most important Byzantine churches in Cyprus, together with Church of Asinou and Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis.
There are two suggestions where the unusual name derives from. According to a local tradition, the name originates from 'ierakas' or hawk. It is believed that a hawk guided the owner-prince to the location of the Virgin's icon. Another suggestion states that is derived from 'arakiotissa' which means 'of the wild pea'. It seems that the wild pea lavishes in this district.
The monastery functioned until the 19th century and then has been abandoned. Vassili Barsky, a Russian monk, visited the island in 1735, at that time the monastery was already almost abandoned, inhabited only by three monks.
Before you take any photos of the frescoes, show courtesy and spare some time to speak to the local priest or caretaker first. The church’s priest can usually be found next door. A local caretaker is supposedly in the church every day or his contact details should be posted on the church. They will be happy to escort you.
Keep in mind!
We advise not to take shortcuts on forest tracks through the Troodos area to reach the church – stick to the main roads for your own safety!
Monday - Saturday: 09:00 - 13:00 / 14:30 - 17:00
Sunday: 10:00 - 13:30 / 14:30 - 17:00
Monday - Saturday: 09:00 - 13:30 / 14:30 - 18:00
Sunday: 10:00 - 13:30 / 14:30 - 18:00
Closed on Public Holidays
Open all year round.
Entrance Fee: Free