On leaving this place I returned to my plan to visit all of the monasteries and resumed walking in the high mountains, of which I have spoken earlier, as here are found many places which are worthy of veneration and concerning which I will speak later.

I traveled from there for about three hours through low, dry mountains, devoid of trees, and arrived at a small monastery. This monastery is dedicated to the Holy Cross and was built in ancient times by virtuous Christians, on the summit of low mountains, on level ground, and now is very small, neglected and with the buildings ready to collapse. What is found here is only a church and a monastic cell and a single hieromonk and a novice. Originally it was a complete monastery, but because of the poverty of the Christians and the neglect by the bishop it has been abandoned. The present Bishop of Paphos is preparing to renovate it as it is in his diocese and falls under his jurisdiction.

It is located in a silent spot, remote from the world, in a place where there are no trees, forest trees or fruit trees, except inside the monastery where there is a single grape vine and a single cypress. They also have no well or flowing water …

The church itself is very small and devoid of any ornamentation, but pleasing in its architectural arrangement with three doorways and with a dome on top.

Replica of the cross of Mintha (© Department of Antiquities of Cyprus)
Replica of the cross of Mintha (© Department of Antiquities of Cyprus)

In the iconostasis there is a large, but unattractive cross, which is devoid of any artistic merit, but is held in a considerable veneration by the local inhabitants. It is reported that it was discovered within a bush, next to a lit candle after a vision, and then it was carried to the monastery; others say that the monastery itself was founded because of the discovery of the cross.

The floor of the church is paved with stone, and there is a great slab of marble on which is an inscription in Latin, in strange letters, which I could not decipher as it has been erased in many places because of the treading of feet. I think it was the gravestone of the founder, some celebrated man, and from this I realised that the monastery was founded during the time of Venetian rule and is called in Greek Ὁ Σταυρὸς τῆς Μύτου (Μύνθης), in other words, the Cross of Mitas, being so-named because of the place.

The cross, the monastery, and the marble inscription described by Barskij do not survive. The monastery has a different form

  • Holy Cross of Mittha - Polignosi (in greek)