The Church of St. George
The parish church of St. George was built in the southeast area of Karavas. In the 18th Century there was a monastery built on that very same area but it was destroyed in the beginning of the 19th Century. The current basilica church was built between 1843 – 1854, and it has a polygonal dome. The paintings and the woodcarving of the ikonostasi, the pupit and the women’s seats are truly remarkable. The wood craved prophets at the top part of the ikonostasi are also notable.
The Church of St. Irene
The church of St. Irene was built on the mountainside of Pentadaktylos in the southwest area of Karavas. The church was built in 1804 by Protosiggelo Lavrentio and his son Xatzinikola, who was killed during the massacre of 9th July 1821. The inscription found on the icon of St. Irene states that Protosiggelos and Xatzinikolas built the temple. A different yet extremely notable icon is that of St. Eftichios, St. Eleftherios, St. George. St. Prokopios and St. Marina which dates back to 1766.
Today the church is also abandoned and disserted. It is desecrated and looted and is in desperate need of maintenance.
The Church of Evangelistria
The church of Evangelistria is the biggest church of Karavas and it is located in the centre of the village. The area of the church was bought by the monastery of Kikkos and the church was built between 1906 – 1917 with the proceeds of a fundraising procedure among the people of the village. The construction of the church took place under the supervision of the former mayor of Karavas Mr. Gregory Xatzilambrou. The church hosted the festive doxologies of all national anniversaries. It was also the starting point for all the parades that marked the opening of celebrations in Karavas.
Today the church is used as a mosque.
The Monastery of Acheiropiitos
The monastery of Acheiropiitos is one of the most remarkable byzantine monuments of Cyprus and it is built on the ruins of an older basilica church of the 6th – 7th Century. Tradition has it that the church was named Acheiropiitos because it was not built by human hands. Centuries ago, when the Turks were about to burn Asia Minor, the Virgin Mary, who had her church on the opposite coast, lifted it from where it was and transferred it to Cyprus, at the coasts of Lambousa, in order to save it.
From the icons, one can distinguish the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary, in which it is believed that the Holy Cloth is kept. At the foot of the icon there is an inscription saying that monk Philotheos made a new icon of Virgin Mary in 1765, in which he placed “part of the cloth” they found after the Turks had broken the old icon. The Acheiropiitos monastery operated, during the years of the Turkish occupation, as the first primary school of the area.
Today the monastery stands disserted and silent in a Turkish military area.
The church of St. Evlalios
To the east of Acheiropiitos, in the area of ancient Lambousa, one can find the 16th-century church of Saint Evlalios, dedicated to the first bishop of Lambousa, built on the remains of an older church.
The history of the church is parallel to that of Acheiropiitos, that is, it was built in the 6th, 11th and 16th centuries. The surviving church, with a Franco-Byzantine architecture, was erected by Archbishop Neophytos in the 16th century.
Today the church is located in a Turkish military area near the monastery of Acheiropiitos. Abandoned and at the edge of destruction, it desperately cries out for maintenance.
Archeological site of Lambousa
Lambousa was the first capital of the area of Kerynia and the headquarters of various Lambousa bishops with the first being Saint Evlalios, whose chapel still stands on the ruins of ancient Lambousa, known as “Katalymata”. According to Stravonas, just after the Trojan War, Praxandros and the Lakones from Peloponnisos built ancient Lapithos in this area, which later evolved into a kingdom that flourished during the Roman and Byzantine years. This kingdom was so brilliant and had such wealth and beauty that the Byzantines called it “Lambousa”. In the “Katalymata”, which are near the harbour of Karavas, lots of ancient findings were discovered such as jewellery, silver trays etc.
Today the archeological site of Lambousa is also located in the Turkish military area and no effort is made to protect or preserve this historical area. Rumours say that there have been many illegal excavations in the area and many of the ancient Lambousa ruins have been destroyed.
One of the most important and sacred place in every society is the cemetery. The place where our ancestors are buried and the place which reminds us of what they have been through in their lives and what they have faced in order to provide us with the necessary for living.
The present state of our cemeteries is truly shocking: the broken crosses and empty tombs create a feeling of melancholy, frustration and rage.
The consequences of the Turkish invasion are undoubtedly tragic. The people of Karavas are still patiently waiting for the end of this long and painful torture.