Gialia Monastery Ruins

Gialia, Cyprus

The Gialia Monastery is a ruined medieval Georgian Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Located in a forest some five kilometers from the coast near the small town of Polis Chrysochous, the ruins were identified, in 1981, by the Georgian scholar Wachtang Djobadze of California State University on the basis of the medieval Georgian accounts. It was not, however, until 2006 that a systematic archaeological research followed after the Georgian and Cypriot governments agreed to jointly investigate the ruins.

It was reported in 2008 that excavation evidence indicated the monastery was commissioned in the late 10th century by Georgian King David III Kuropalates and that renovations were made during the reign of David IV Aghmashenebeli (1089-1125). The monastery is certainly attested in the 12th century, when it was renovated at the behest of Queen Tamar of Georgia (1184-1213). Ancient Georgian sources report that it was in Georgian ownership until the 14th century, and graves and other items uncovered indicate that it was in use between the 14th and 16th centuries. It was reportedly plundered and destroyed in the 16th century, but appears to have been in use as recently as 1935, until final destruction by an earthquake in 1953.

Two main structures have been identified: the earlier Virgin church, and the later St. George's church dated probably to the 11th and 12th centuries respectively. Remains of Georgian paintings and inscriptions from the 13th and 14th century have also survived.


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Gialia, Cyprus
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Founded: 10th century
Category: Ruins in Cyprus

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andrey Nikulin (2 years ago)
I’m very proud that i have visited that holy place, sure that restoration will take place soon and we will pray there! God bless us!
Rock Cyprus (2 years ago)
The story of this medieval Georgian Orthodox Monastery is now well-known, after the identification of its ruins by Wachtang Djobadze in 1981. The beautiful remains of the Panagia Chrysogialiotissa Church, protected by a gigantic overhead cover, dominate the view among the thick trees of the Pafos forest. It's touching to see the Georgian inscriptions and what has been left from the murals on the walls (check my photo stream below). The headwaters of the Gialia stream are situated nearby. A very nice experience.
Scarlet Pimpernel (2 years ago)
A beautiful peaceful place. And there is welcome spring water there from a tap.
Rob Henderson (3 years ago)
Site is fully fenced of but there are two gates which you can open and let yourself in by. It is sign posted from the road and then a long drive up a dirt track. However you can continue on the road and then cross the river bed higher up. Probably beautiful drive in spring but we went in summer.
Peter Merabishvili (5 years ago)
Old Georgian monastery, but sadly it's ruined
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