St. Mamas Monastery and Icon Museum

Tradition has it that in the 12th century, Mamas, a poor Cypriot hermit, refused to pay his taxes, and so troops were sent to bring him to the capital for punishment. On the way, the party came across a lion about to kill a lamb but Mamas saved the lamb, taking it in his arms, and then rode the wild lion into the capital city. Legend has it that the Byzantine authorities were so impressed with what they saw, they released the hermit from his obligations and since then St. Mamas has been regarded as the protector of tax avoiders.

Scattered across the island are 14 churches dedicated to St. Mamas. This particular Monastery of St. Mamas was built in the 18th century and it is said that St. Mamas is buried within its grounds. The upper part of the iconostasis, carved of wood and painted in blue and gold, is an exquisite example of late 16th century wood carving. Its lower part is carved of marble and features figs, grapes and acorns, and Venetian shields which once bore painted coats of arms. Its sarcophagus contains two holes from which a balm against eye and ear diseases and other illnesses oozes which also calmed stormy seas, bringing to mind the "sweating stones" in other Byzantine churches.

The inside of the church is also covered in hundreds of beautiful and well-preserved icons from the Orthodox faith, with some still in the restoration process.