The monastery of Agios Pandeleimon, patron saint of physicians, in Camlibel was in closed militairy area untill recently. The church is late 16th century, the 18th century monastery was already abandoned in the ’50’s and contained little of interest. The site shows an incredible negligence. Why not clean things a bit up before you leave them open to the public, I’d say to the army; it makes a much better impression. This looks like the army has really worn out the place and when there was nothing left, withdrew from it. Even if we keep in account that the monastery was already empty for some time it is a great pity.
The place is extremely beautiful and could be developed for new functions although I know that the Greek Cypriot Church is fiercely against that. However, like this a precious site is just falling into pieces. Why was the army so inconsiderate with this place? I think it is the same problem as for Agios Christostomos: when a church acts like a political factor, its buildings will be treated like that too. This is how valuable heritage is lost.
On a pillar of the church I found the words: ‘sleep quiet’, obviously written by someone with Turkish background as they always write the way they speak (‘slip kwot’). Although quite some Turkish Cypriots criticize the role and influence of the army, they never deny the core function of their presence: that since the army is here, they can sleep quiet.
Read also these blogs about monasteries:
Apostolos Andreas Monastery – Northern Cyprus heritage (21)
Sourp Magar – Northern Cyprus Heritage (1)
Maronites – Northern Cyprus Heritage (11)
Antiphonitis – Northern Cyprus Heritage (7)