The Delightful Town of Yeroskipou – Cyprus

Yeroskipou is a small town just to the east of Paphos. The first interesting thing about Yeroskipou is the Church of Agia Paraskevi.

Agia Paraskevi Yeroskipou

This five domed Greek Orthodox church was built in the 11th century and still has some of the original frescoes inside. Sadly they don’t permit photography inside the church, which is a real shame as I’d love to show you the fresco of the resurrection. What I found interesting about the artist’s vision of Christ rising from the underworld, was the boatman and two headed dog that remained there. These strike me as representations of Charon, the ferryman who carried the souls of the dead across the river Styx and Cerberus, the multi-headed hound that guards the gates of Hades, from Greek mythology.

Was this pagan iconography adopted into the visual imagery of the church by local Christians to make it easier to understand for the pagan population or was it a careful hedging of belief by people keen not to offend both sets of gods in those early days. As is common practice here, the faithful leave  replicas of body parts in the church in the hope of obtaining a cure for the ills of relatives, which is another practice incorporated from a much earlier belief in sympathetic magic.

The second point of interest about Yeroskipou is that it is the only place in the world with a Protected Geographical Indication ( just like Melton Mowbray pork pies or Champagne) for loukoumia or Cypriot Delight. A fact that royally pisses off the Turks. We bought a couple of boxes from a shop with a certificate from the Guinness Book of records for producing the largest slab of loukoumia in the world.

The easiest way to get to Yeroskipou is by cab, we booked one of Stevie’s stretched Mercs, fare €10 each way.

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