Panagia tou Araka - Platania Nature Trail

EXCURSIONS / Nature Trails / Troodos / Panagia tou Araka - Platania Nature Trail
After the Church of Panagia tou Araka, the route continues to the village Saranti, climbing on asphalt road to the area known as the "Selladi Karamanlis' (3 km - altitude 1,180 meters). An old path 4 km starts from here and goes through the "Black Forest" and "Selladi Country" (altitude 1,150 meters) above the village of Spilia. A new 2 kilometers path leads through the forest to the area known as "Thank God" (altitude 1,320 meters) north of Kyperounta village. Thence running through dirt roads and paths to the Platania Forest Station (altitude 1,000 meters), 6 km from the village of Kakopetria.
Most of the route passes you through dense natural pine alternating with dense clusters of golden oak. The rock is mostly diabase (ore), while close to Platania they are gabbros and (ore).
In the villages of Spilia, Kyperounta and Kakopetria you will find shops, restaurants and accommodations, hotels or agrotourism hostels that offer you all the facilities you may need. At the Platania Forest Station there is a picnic and camping area and a small restaurant. Here, you can visit the fenced area where Cyprus mouflon.
The Monastery of Panagia tou Araka
The Monastery of Panagia tou Araka is a monastery near the village of Lagoudera Nicosia. The Monastery of Panagia tou Araka is reduced in the churches where they were created in the Middle Byzantine period, around the 12th century. It declined in the 18th century and today survives storey monastery building on the north side of the church used as the residence of the priest. The origin of the name Arakas, perhaps derived from the pea plant, or from the word falcon, hawk.
Architecture and Decoration Temple
It aisled domed type. Externally the roof is formed in a cross shape. The church as you will see is decorated with superb wall paintings at the expense of the Lion of the original in 1192. This is the importance of the church, it has completed a series of paintings of neoclassical style of Byzantine art. The elegant and sophisticated forms of Hellenistic influence, the rich clothing, with freedom of movement spread their beauty and grace, in all of the church walls. In the apse frescoes differ stylistically from the other wall of the temple, without this meaning that made an earlier era but rather made by another painter. In the 14th century the painter Leondios painted the Virgin in the blind arch above the north entrance of the temple and the outer side of the original west wall. In the 17th century several saints painted on the outer side of the north wall.
The most famous images
The most famous images of the church considered them of Christ and the Virgin Arakiotissas, which have been attributed to Theodore Apsevdis dating to the late 12th century. The painter gives a lot of attention to detail and with strong light and shadow contrast on the face, particularly that of Christ, where ladoprasinos dark proplasmos is in stark contrast with the broad red faces attach facial cheekbones. Typical is also the care with which the artist gives the hair and beard of Christ. In the picture yet of the Virgin belongs to the type Odigitria, uses less warm colors. Although he painted the head of the Virgin standing, almost imperious attitude, gave melancholy expression on face. The way of the face value with limited shade and light tones of flesh and intense red polka dots on the cheeks and the red line highlights the eyelids and nose connect the image with other contemporary images.
Do not lose any more time and start your hike!
Start Point: Panagia tou Araka
End Point: Platania
Estimated Duration: 5 - 6 hours
Trip Length: 15 km


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