Panagia Asinou and the 'Painted Churches' of Cyprus

Far from the Easy Jet English Breakfasts, high in the evergreen Troodos Mountains are a dozen tiny churches. Half hidden in woodland or tucked away in village back streets their spireless pitched roofs and rough stone walls hold beautiful Byzantine frescoes dating back to the thirteenth century.

Panagia Asinou from the outside

Panagia Asinou from the outside

They take some finding and after negotiating the blind alleys and precipitous mountain roads you usually have to trek around the village to find the priest and the door key. Once inside and after your eyes adapt to the dim dank light the paintings make the church seem twice the size it did from the outside.

Venerated saints and cautionary tales for sinners that must have illustrated a thousand sermons.