Agios Savvas Tis Karonos
We first discovered this abandoned monastery a few years ago, when we were out geocaching.Visiting again, a few years later, I am paying more attention to the architecture than cache hiding places. There is certainly lots to see, and it is a fascinating place to have a look around. Plus, as it is slap bang in the middle of the Diarizos Valley, you know you can make a day trip out of a visit to the area, if you want to...
First things first, how do you get to the place? Well, if you take the airport road from Paphos (B6) and then turn left onto the F616 after you go past the Asprokremmos Dam, you can then stay on that road until you are about half way up the Diarizos Valley. You will have gone past Agios Georgios, and Maronas, to your right. Just before you come to the Extreme View Cafe, you will see a brown sign pointing to your right. Head down there and keep on the main track. It is a bit bumpy, but you should be ok in most cars. If you are unsure though, don't take a risk. Just use your common sense.
This Must Be The Place
I'm glad I took this picture, as originally I thought it was spelled "Koronos". Anyway, don't park here. If you drive round past the rest of the monastery, there are better parking spots.
Ok, so let's have a bit of history. According to the internet, The Agios Savvas tis Karonos Monastery was originally built in the twelfth century, and it was later restored by the Venetians. In 1467, the monastery was destroyed by fire; however, it was rebuilt with the assistance of James II, a Cypriot king.
In 1533, the Agios Savvas tis Karonos Church was built on site of the monastery ruins. There is nothing that says why the monastery was once again ruined though. The church was renovated in 1742. Since then, the church has been repaired various times. It is still used as a church, though I doubt there is a regular service, owing to it's remoteness.
So these ruins have been ruins for 500 years. That's incredible, when you think about it. I know you get ancient ruins in Paphos and other places, but they've all had a bit of TLC over the years. This place has been left to its own devices.
The ruins seem to be in two parts. I imagine the ruins on the left of this picture were stables, as there is a wall that separates them from the rest of the monastery.