Wednesday, 17 August 2011

North Cyprus Bellapaix Abbey


THE FINEST GOTHIC IN THE NEAR EAST

Having visited most of the cathedrals in England we are finely attuned to the delights of gothic architecture. Bellapaix Abbey, almost walk-able from the Villa, is billed as one of the finest pieces of gothic. Built on the side of a mountain, this twelfth-century monastery is a fine testament to the Lusignan period (the Lusignans from France, a family that came to control the Kingdoms of Jerusalem and of Cyprus).

The Abbey, with its pretty church appears, to float above the landscape. The masonry work of its cloister arches and tracery (most of which is fractured and is now silhouetted against the sky like old, poor, broken teeth) is so light and delicate.