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: Miscellaneous historic sites in Cyprus

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User Reviews

Vladislava (9 months ago)
The ruins of the church are a captivating piece of history to explore. Walking among these ancient remnants feels like stepping back in time. It's a serene and contemplative experience that connects you to the past. If you enjoy historical sites, this is definitely a must-visit. Take your time to appreciate the rich heritage and the stories these ruins hold.
Martin Shallcross (12 months ago)
Fenced and protected ruins with access via a gate. Numerous poignant items left by previous visitors and an information board near the entrance in several languages. We went on a Sunday afternoon in July and we didn't see another soul from leaving the main road, all the way up to the monastery and back. The last kilometre or so is rough dirt track
Jonah Hill (12 months ago)
Simple ruins. Locals leave scrappy cards and religious sentiments around.
Salome. M. (16 months ago)
This old Georgian monastery was founded by Georgian Ruler at 10th century. The Virgin church is different style from other Cyprus churches - must see it. There are fragments of frescoes too (12th-13th cc.). There are not good road but possible to go by Nissan march as me:) It’s located very nice place, enjoy to visit!
Юлия Зарко (2 years ago)
Archaeological excavations of an ancient Georgian monastery. The frescoes have been partially preserved. You can see the outlines of buildings. The air around is very fresh. A calm pesto milking walks, reflections and a touch of history
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