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Cyprus > Department of Antiquities Website August 9, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Cyprus, Cyprus.
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The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities, announces the completion of its website, which was designed and developed during the past year and recently went on air.

The URL is > http://www.mcw.gov.cy/da

In the website of the Department of Antiquities the user can obtain information, both in Greek and English, about the history and the responsibilities of the Department, the relevant legislation and the excavations which take place on the island.

There is also information concerning the publications of the Department of Antiquities, the copies of ancient artifacts which are offered for sale, as well as various application forms regarding matters that fall within the jurisdiction of the Department.

In the “News” section, information about various matters concerning the archaeology of Cyprus is included, such as temporary exhibitions.

The greater part of the website consists of texts concerning all public Museums and the ancient monuments and archaeological sites that are open to the public. Apart from the historical, archaeological and topographical information, one can also be informed regarding to opening hours, public holidays and ticket prices.


The Museum of the Holy Monastery of Kykkos, Cyprus August 9, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus, Special Features.
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The Museum of the Holy Monastery of Kykkos has followed all the formal specifications of modern museums but it is substantially different from them.

It is not a museum that is completely separate from the functional space of the items it exhibits and neither is it a museum that contains exhibits only on the strength of their artistic value as are the museums of ancient Greek art.

It is a museum situated inside the monastery itself and like its treasury it forms an integral part of it. Its exhibits such as icons, holy objects, woodcarvings, vestments, embroideries, manuscripts etc, are exhibited as part of the living adoration and the history of the monastery. 

The Museum contains invaluable religious relics which have been collected by the zeal and piety of the monks, objects that have overcome the ravages of time, objects full of meaning and history.

The visitors who come to the Holy Monastery of Kykkos for worship and contemplation and who visit the Museum can come across the piety that inspired the exhibits and they can also get to know some of the history of the Monastery and of the Cyprus Church more generally. 

The Holy Monastery of the Virgin of Kykkos was founded around the end of the 11th century by the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos (1081 – 1118).

According to tradition a virtuous hermit, called Esaias, was living in a cave on the mountain of Kykkos. One day, the Byzantine governor of the island Doux Manuel Voutoumites, who was spending the summer at a village of Marathasa because of the heat of the season, went into the forest to hunt. Having lost his way in the forest he met monk Esaias and asked him to show him the way. The hermit who was not interested in the things of this world would not answer his questions. 

Voutoumites got angry at the monk’s indifference and called him names and even maltreated him. Not long after, when the Doux returned to Nicosia, he fell ill with an incurable illness by the name of lethargia. In his terrible condition he remembered how inhumanly he had treated the hermit Esaias and asked God to cure him so that he might go to ask the hermit personally for forgiveness. And this came to pass. But God had appeared in front of the hermit and revealed to him that the very thing that had happened had been planned by the divine will and advised him to ask Voutoumites to bring the icon of the Virgin, that had been painted by the Apostle Luke, to Cyprus. 

The icon was kept in the imperial palace at Constantinople. When Boutoumites heard the hermit’s wish he was taken aback because he considered such a thing impossible. Then Esaias explained to him that it was a matter of divine wish and they agreed to travel together to Constantinople for the realization of their aim.

Time was passing and Voutoumites could not find the right opportunity to present himself in front of the emperor and ask for the icon. For this reason he provided Esaias with other icons and other necessary things and sent him back to Cyprus, at the same time placating him that he would soon see the emperor. By divine dispensation the daughter of the emperor had fallen ill with the same illness that had struck Voutoumites. The latter grasped the opportunity and went to see the emperor Alexios. He recounted to him his personal experience with the monk Esaias and assured him that his daughter would be cured if he sent to Cyprus the holy icon of the Virgin. In his desperation the emperor, seeing that he had no other option, agreed. His daughter became well instantly. The emperor, however, not wanting to be parted from the icon of the Virgin, called a first-class painter and ordered him to paint an exact copy of the icon with the aim of sending this one to Cyprus.

In the evening the Mother of God herself appears in a dream of the emperor’s and tells him that her wish is for her icon to be sent to Cyprus and for the copy to be kept by the emperor. On the following day the royal boat with the icon of the Virgin departed for Cyprus where Esaias was awaiting for it. During the procession of the icon from the coast to the Troodos mountains, according to legend, the trees, participating in the welcoming ceremonies, were piously bending their trunks and branches. With patronage provided by the emperor Alexios Komnenos a church and monastery were built at Kykkos, where the icon of the Virgin was deposited.

According to another tradition, still preserved by the people, a bird with human voice was flying around the area singing: 

Kykkou, Kykkou, Kykkos’ hill
A monastery the site shall fill
A golden girl shall enter in
And never shall come out again.

The “golden girl” is, without a doubt, the icon of the Virgin while the monastery is the Holy Royal and Stavropegiac Monastery of Kykkos which has been sheltering the icon for over nine hundred years. 

For further information please visit > http://www.kykkos-museum.cy.net

Kykkos Monastery Excursion > The excursion to Kykkos Monastery is a main attraction.

The monastery was founded by the Byzantines and it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is now the richest monastery in the island and posesses one of the three surviving icons ascribed to Saint Luke. This icon, which is covered in silver gilt and enclosed in a shrine of tortoise shell and mother-of-pearl, holds an eminent position in the church. You will also see the Icon of Virgin Mary which in 1997 it is said was miraculously weeping for a whole month.

You will then have the opportunity to visit the tomb of Archbishop Makarios III, the first President of Cyprus. His tomb is set among the pine forest of the Troodos foothills, 3Km west of Kykkos Monastery, where he served as a novice. The view from the tomb, is simply magnificent, as you can see almost all around Cyprus.

From Kykkos you may visit Pedoulas village for lunch and a stroll through the villages small back streets. After lunch you may visit the picturesque village of Lania, famous for its many local artists and also noted for its special home made wines.

NOTE> Visitors must dress appropriately when visiting religious places.

For additional information please visit > http://www.imkykkou.com.cy/

Roanoke’s Greek Festival > A touch of Greece August 9, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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The big Roanoke Greek Festival is coming up soon, so mark your calendars.

The Greeks certainly have a way with food and they love to introduce new people to their cuisine; heavy on lamb, flaky pastries, shish-kabobs, gyros and such.

This year’s Greek-A-Thon will be held at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, September 15-17. Hours are from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from Noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. It’s been so successful in the past that this year they’ve expanded it by one day so more of you can get a taste of Greece.

There will be lots of authentic foods, live bands, traditional dancers, Greek Orthodox Church tours and imported wines, plus those yummy pastries and baklavas. You may think you’ve tasted real baklava, but until you’ve had the homemade stuff, well it just assaults the tastebuds and nose with honey and spices.

And get this: win a raffle for a trip for two to Athens, Grece. For more information, you may wish to visit their website: www.roanokegreekfestival.com By the way, portions of the proceeds will benefit The Rescue Mission and Center in the Square.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
30 Huntington Blvd., Roanoke, VA. (540) 362-3601

Hellenic Flame > HCM’s 1st Annual Festival at the Old Port of Montreal August 9, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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Festival of the Hellenic Community in Montreal
August 9th to August 13th, 2006
Admission is FREE

The Hellenic Community of Montreal (HCM) holds their annual festival “The Hellenic Flame” August 9 to August 13 2006 at the Old Clock Tower in the Quays of the Old Port.  

For five days, the organizers of the festival have prepared cultural activities designed to showcase the Greek culture in Montreal.

The theme for the fourth edition of the festival will highlight the 100th year celebrations of the HCM.  A treat for the whole family will be the visit of two naval vessels sent for this occasion by the Government of Greece. The two vessels are:

The  AEGEAN – a Frigate

The PROMETHEUS – a logistics vessel

The vessels will be anchored at the Clock Tower Quay and will be open for visits. (Free Admission)


Sunday August 6th: Vessels arrive at 4:00pm

Vessel are open to public

on August  7, 8 10, 12 and 13 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Monday August 14: 4:00am Vessels depart

For additional indormation please visit > Hellenic Flame – HCM’s 1st Annual Festival at the Old Port of Montreal

While at this page Hellenic Flame – HCM’s Annual Festival at the Old Port of Montreal you can read more about Montreal-Athens > Two Olympic cities > Two sister cities > An eternal flame > A SUMMER FESTIVAL !

In light of the 100th year celebrations of the Hellenic Community of Montreal the activities for the Flame Festival will underline the achievements of the community and its members.  Founded in 1906, the Hellenic Community of Montreal is a non-profit, membership based organization that acts to ensure the progress of Hellenic culture by preserving and promoting the Greek language, the Greek Orthodox faith and its traditions.  Through the generous contributions of its members and the community at large, the organization manages L’Ecole Primaire Socrates – a trilingual school spread over four campuses and teaching the complete French curriculum. The HCM also manages four of Montreal ’s Greek Orthodox churches and provides a variety of services to the community including social services for the underprivileged, a centre for continuing education, five daycare centers and a senior’s residence.

The activities will include different cultural booths representing the associations affiliated to the HCM, musical shows and performances of regional folkloric dancing presented by Greek dancing troupes. Saturday evening the crowd will enjoy a musical show with a mixture of a local Greek band, the HCM choir, and the folkloric dance troupes.

Blending culture, commerce, and entertainment, the “Hellenic Flame” is an invitation to experience a rich cultural heritage, feel the power of a creative spirit and be part of “la joie de vivre”, a celebration of life. Celebrate with us Greek culture, rare exhibits, dancing, theater, live music.  A great experience for Montrealers and visitors of all ages.

We, at the Hellenic Community of Montreal are very proud to contribute to the success of the summer festivals at the Old Port and to offer the “Hellenic Flame” to the city of Montreal and Canada. We invite you to share in our success. Year after year…

Athens: The Grand Promenade August 9, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece, Greece Athens.
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Following the highly successful “Athina By Art” exhibition – the city’s first major outdoor art display – which was held during the summer of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, the Greek capital now welcomes “The Grand Promenade”.

The works which comprise this large-scale modern art exhibition, organised by the National Museum of Contemporary Art, are spread throughout the city. “The Grand Promenade” is the first of two international exhibitions planned by the museum as part of pre-opening events taking place this year and in 2007. The museum building will be completed within 2008. The creators of the exhibition were inspired by the museum’s proximity to Athens’ key ancient sites and monuments, which offer the opportunity to create transcultural communication networks linking ancient and modern art. Museum director Anna Kafetsi is the curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition’s title refers to The Grand Promenade, created by the Unification of Archaeological Sites of Athens. This large-scale urban project surrounding the Acropolis doubles as an open-air art space. A total of 44 artists from around the world is participating in the exhibition with recent works or works commissioned by the museum that have been put on display in outdoor ancient sites, at monuments and in public and private buildings.

Among the artists taking part are: Pawel Althamer, Ghada Amer, Andreas Angelidakis, Janine Antoni, Kutlug Ataman, Per Barclay, Vlassis Caniaris, Michael Blum, Christian Boltanski, Pavel Buchler, Fouad Elkoury, George Hadjimichalis, Gary Hill, Thomas Hirschhorn, Yu Hong, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Y.Z. Kami, Anish Kapoor, Gulsun Karamustafa, Toba Khedoori, Jannis Kounellis, Wolfgang Laib, Luisa Lambri, Miltos Manetas, Julie Mehretu, Ernesto Neto, Silke Otto-Knapp, Adrian Paci, Susan Philipsz, Dimitris Pikionis, Angelo Plessas, Khalil Rabah, Steve Roden, Ulrich Ruckriem, Santiago Sierra, Nedko Solakov, Ηans Jurgen Syberberg, Lina Theodorou, Evanthia Tsantila, Kostis Velonis, Amelie von Wulffen, Rachel Whiteread, Zafos Xagoraris and Vana Xenou.

Exhibition venues:

1. The Grand Promenade
2. The Melina Mercouri Foundation
3. The Athens School of Fine Arts Graduates Association building
4. The Roman Agora
5. The University of Indianapolis Cultural Centre (Athens campus)
6. The Aerides Baths (Turkish Baths)
7. The Association of Greek Archaeologists building
8. The City of Athens’ Technopolis

The exhibition opened on July 17 and will run through September 29.