Bellapais Abbey (Abbaye
de la Paix)
the north-east of Kyrenia (Girne), set on the side of a mountain, this twelfth-century monastery
is a fine example of Gothic architecture of the Lusignan period.
comprises of a church, refectory, dormitory and
storage rooms grouped around an inner courdyard.
It was originally occupied
by a French brotherhood, the Order of Premontre, and was known to them
as the "Abbaye de la Paix".
of the Latin kings, this order was held in great esteem. The abbot
was allowed to wear the protifical mitre during mass, and was accorded
the honour of carrying a sword and wearing golden spurs while riding.
The beauty of Bellapais is legendary. Set in the mountains, just
ten minutes above Kyrenia, a visit to this 14th century Lusignan
abbey with its fabulous location and pervasive atmosphere of calm
is a must.
Durrell, famous British author, bought a house in the village of
Bellapais, he felt 'guilty of an act of fearful temerity in trying
to settle in so fantastic a place'.