The Bellapais Monastery
monastery, one of the unparalleled samples of Gothic Art,
is situated on the flanks of the Five-finger (Kyrenia) Mountains.
name today derives from the French "Abbaye de la paix",
which means "The Peace Monastery".
first settlers of the monastery are the priests of the Augustinian
order who had migrated from Jerusalem. The first monastery
building was constructed between 1198-1205. Most sections
of the building which can be seen today was built by the French
King Hugh III between 1267-1284.
pavilions around the courtyard and the refectory were constructed
during the reign of King Hugh IV (1324-1359). After Cyprus
was conquered by the Ottomans, the monastery was given to
the Greek Orthodox Church. The church next to the courtyard
is the part which is in the best condition. The Italian frescoes
on the front walls were made in the 15th century.
two marble tombs in the courtyard were used as washbasins
by the priests for some time. On the door behind the tombs
the insignia of the Jerusalem, Lusignan, and Cyprus Kingdoms
are fixed. The refectory of the monastery is also an example
of unequalled Gothic Art. The rooms to the east of the courtyard
in the middle, belonged to the priests.
column in the middle of the council chamber is thought to
have belonged to the early Byzantine Church. The dormitories
of the priests and the chamber of accounts are on the upper