Bellapais Abbey


Bellapais, unchanged and unhurried since its colonial days. Bellapais is a pretty small village set high in the Five Finger Mountains of Northern Cyprus. The centre piece of the charming village and its main attraction is Bellapais Monastery and sometimes called Bellapais Abbey. The name Bellapais probably derives from the French "Abbaye de la paix" meaning 'Monastery of Peace'.

The Bellapais Monastery was founded by Augustinian monks, who came to Cyprus from Jerusalem, and who began constructing the first buildings here in 1198. The Lusignan King Hugh III built much of what can be seen today between 1267 and 1284, whilst the courtyard pavilions and magnificent Gothic refectory were added by his success King Hugh IV by 1359. Perched precariously on a natural terrace, the abbey stands guard over the whole of the northern coastline, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful and indeed most important Gothic buildings in the Near East.

Bellapais Abbey is one of the most important attraction of the Bellapais Village with its bird's eye view of Kyrenia Harbour and Kyrenia City. There are also various restaurants just near the abbey to have a lunch break. Parking is not a problem as there is large car park very close to the abbey. There are no public transport to Bellapais and you can go there with taxi or with Trip Car rentals.