Holy Monastery of St Nicholas of the Cats or Agios Nikolaos Ton Gaton Monastery is considered as being the oldest as well as the first monastery in Cyprus.
Agios Nikolaos ton Gaton Monastery is located south each of Akrotiri Salt Lake, on Cape Gata in Limassol. Historically, the monastery dates back to the 14th century and it was abandoned during the 16th century. In the late 1980’s the monastery was re-occupied by Orthodox nuns.
According to the tradition, Agios Nikolaos ton Gaton monastery was founded by Agia Eleni. Agia Eleni was the mother of Constantine the Great who left a piece of wood from the Holy cross at the monastery. During that time, a severe drought occurred in Cyprus and because of that many Cypriots left the island. Within Cyprus, snakes multiplied in huge numbers and life in Cyprus was unbearable, particularly at Akrotiri peninsula.
After Agias Eleni’s departure, Constantine the Great sent the governor Kalokeros to Cyprus who brought thousands of cats and release them to the island in order to exterminate the snakes and save the area.
Location: Cape Gata, Lemesos
- Operating period: All year round
Daily: 08:00 - 17:00
- Tel: +357 25 952 621