The 10 so-called Painted Churches of the Troodos Region of Cyprus collectively make up an Unesco World Heritage site. Unfortunately for anyone trying to visit them, finding them open for viewing is a rather hit and miss affair. We rented a car and spent a few hours trolling the Troodos area mountains for these churches. We found three of them, after a lot of false starts up some rather dicey mountain roads. Unfortunately, of the three we reached, only one was open, the Archangel Michael church in Pedhoulas.
But, it was worth the drive and time, because it was spectacular. Most of the 10 churches were painted in the 12th Century in the distinctive Byzantine style of the era. But the Archangel Church of Pedhoulas was done about 200 years later. The name of the painter has been lost, and some of the literature about the church defines him as a mere copyist without his own distinctive style.
However, it seems to me that he wielded his brushes confidently, and his work is bold, colorful, and fascinating. I'm sorry we didn't get to any other of the churches, but we're definitely going back to Cyprus some day to see the rest. Before we do, though, I'm going to figure out how to arrive at them all coincident with someone who can open them up to viewing. Because if the ones we didn't see are even better than this one, I'm going to be very sorry if I never see them.
The Painted Churches of Troodos are Unesco World Heritage sites in Cyprus. For a list of all Cyprus Unesco World Heritage sites, with links to posts about the ones we've visited, click here.