St. Solomon’s Catacombs
If you’re up for a dose of more compact Greek history and culture, Agia Solomoni Christian Catacomb in Paphos calls your name!
I must warn you; the rich heritage here might leave you positively spellbound. As an exquisite chapel-exhumed-from-chamber-tombs ensemble, Agia Solomoni was a pilgrimage site in the Medieval ages.
The scenery here might look mammoth, but it packs more punch than the epic accounts of Greek fables.
The chapel’s name is derived from Agia Solomoni, the first Cypriot to reject paganism to become a Christian.
She did so to escape persecution from the Romans and took refuge in the cave. However, the Romans are not known for their soft spot.
The entrance to the cave was walled up, subjecting Solomoni to a slow and painful death.
Two centuries later, the same cave was opened, and miraculously, Agia Solomoni walked out alive.
Agia Solomoni is an assemblage of mesmerizing chambers, paintings, and catacombs.
There is also an open court and a spring, which are essential to the site’s ambiance. When you gaze at the west chamber’s apse, you’ll be privy to an array of Christian paintings and 13th-century graffiti cut into the plaster by Crusaders who visited the chapel.
Topping the ensemble rests a holy tree adorned with rags and bits of clothing left by people who make a wish and believe the tree has divine healing powers.
Agia Solomoni Christian Catacomb in Paphos is a masterpiece and an absolute must-visit, so don’t forget to add it to your itinerary!
Back in the day (we’re talking Hellenistic era here), Solomoni and her seven sons were about that Christian life, a big no-no in their neck of the woods.
The King of Syria wasn’t having any of it, so he did what any reasonable monarch would – he tortured and killed her sons right before her.
But did this phase Solomoni? Nope, not even a little bit. She’s now honored as a saint in the Orthodox Christian church for her martyrdom.
Talk about dedication to the cause! So if you ever feel like giving up on your beliefs, remember Agia Solomoni and her sons – they didn’t back down, and neither should you.